The portfolio site…

The portfolio site is not complete yet, but it is slowly coming together. I’m sort of doing a combination of revising and adding new content to this blog while working on the site so some of the links over there may very well not work as they should, etc. That’s because I don’t have the full content on the site live yet, or even created locally in some cases. However, over the next few months (or possibly even years?) I’ll be adding more and editing more both here on this blog and at the site… I plan to get it all put together strategically and working well cohesively as my next ‘big project’ that I’m working on an hour or three every day as I find the free time to work on it.

In the not-too-distant future that free time will start going down a bit as our new baby is on the way. However, I’m sure that I’ll still have some time for this ‘hobby’ to finally come together the way that I’m wanting it to. It’s been something that’s sort of been on the backburner since 1999 that I always wanted to do, but never took the full time to actually do til now, at least not as completely as I plan to do this thing… The artfolio part of the new site is the part that is most put together thus far, and only a few pages of the oil painting is really up so far… That is at http://jeffthomann.cwahi.net/artfolio/index.shtml.

Most of the other sections are not up yet…

The ‘old’ portfolio site at http://jeffthomann.cwahi.net/ is still up and running for the here and now… but over time it’ll be phased out and replaced with the new site… It’s just going to take some time, and I don’t want to completely delete the old one all the way until the new one is at least fully working.

I plan ultimately to have a cross link from every blog post with the artwork to the page on the site with the artwork, and use the blog to sort of have an ongoing commentary about each work of art on the site that is probably a bit more lengthy and more of a dialogue than really needs to be on the ‘official’ site… but is still related, so there will be the cross linking to make it all easily accessible…

As time goes by, I’ll probably edit the blog heavily on past posts so that stuff that is really ‘portfolio’ quality is all that’s in the portfolio category, etc.

As I do this, I’m also starting to keep a spreadsheet of all the links, titles, copyright dates, etc. of everything much more complete and in depth than I ever have before. I may publish some portions of that spreadsheet in the future so that it’ll help any viewers or collectors out there find things just as it’ll eventually help myself find things as sometimes finding stuff you are looking for in a blog is not the easiest thing in the world to do… As I create new works of art in the future, they will get added to this ongoing project… so it’s really sort of just establishing a groundwork to eventually build my art career from at a level that I haven’t taken the time to do yet for a variety of reasons.

Remember, the ‘artfolio’ is more about all of my artwork, including works in progress, works never completed etc. as well as more thoroughly completed works that I’d consider ‘portfolio’ quality. The ‘portfolio’ is just that – completed ‘portfolio’ quality works, i.e. top notch stuff, at least in my opinion. To get to the ‘artfolio’ portion of the blog you can use the artfolio category tag, and to get to the portfolio part of the blog you can use the portfolio category tag.

Happy viewing! ๐Ÿ™‚

http://publicdomainremix.wordpress.com/

I’ve created a new blog that is located at http://publicdomainremix.wordpress.com/

I know, I promised to only have this blog, but I can’t help but wanting to create new blogs for various purposes, while keeping this main blog from being a spam trap type of thing. The new blog at http://publicdomainremix.wordpress.com/ is mainly going to be used to locate, use, and remix various public domain video, images, audio, text, and other interesting things. The public domain is a very wide arena that has a bunch of potential for a lot of different things in my opinion, and I want to start exploring that wide and crazy world of public domain remixes. I have a lot of ideas on where to go with that.

The other main blog that I maintain currently, if you have not figured it out yet (since it’s linked over in widget to the right) is http://www.mastermesh.wordpress.com. That’s where I keep my delicious.com bookmarks backed up. I like posting those to a blog since I bookmark a ton of different places.

Mixing colors… It’s not what you think it is.

There are two color spectrums that are important in the arts. One is real light and how it mixes in the real world. The other is reflected light and how it works in the real world. Real lighting is visible in Stage Lighting, Computer Screens, TVs, and just about anywhere that there is a real light source – light bulb, sun, window, etc. The primary colors of real light are red, green, and blue.

The primary colors of reflected light on the other hand are red, yellow, and blue. In the print world, black is also added to that to arrive at a spectrum that is abbreviated CYMK – Cyan (Red), Yellow, Magenta (Blue), and BlaCK – CK is used for Black so that it’s not confused with Blue.

Mixing primary colors in real light results in white where the colors overlap. This is easily demonstrated in stage lighting by simply aiming 3 lights at the same area, where each one has a filter on it that matches the 3 primary colors – red, green, and blue. Where the three colors overlaps on the stage or wall or whever the lights are aimed together, there’s white that shows up in the middle.

Painting and other forms of art where color is placed on an object utilize the reflected light spectrum since the paper, canvas, or whatever else is typically not a light source itself. What is really weird about reflected light is that the science behind it does something completely different from what you think it’s doing. The color we see on an object is really what’s reflecting back at us off of that object when the real light hits the object. In other words the “colors” we see in everything that is not a real light source is really an absence of that particular color in the object itself – all the other colors of the spectrum are “absorbed” by the object, so what we see is really the opposite of the color that the object really is. We see the color that bounced back at us and was not absorbed.

Because of that weird way that things work, mixing primary colors with paint usually results in a muddy brown mid-tone color with low intensity. That’s completely different than what happens when real light’s primary colors are mixed.

That means that most stuff that you see on screen will usually look a lot darker than it did in the computer when you print it, especially since printers add more than the primary colors, and throw black in too.

It also means that when you go to mix colors as a painter, you have to think completely differently than when you mix colors with real light, like when you are thinking about interior design issues in stage lighting, or just picking out lights to put in to your bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, or living room.

What gets very interesting is that some sculptures and other forms of art mix and match both light spectrums through backlighting, integrating tv screens in to the artform, adding lights to sculptures, etc. Sculpture is actually a whole different baseball game all together since it can incorporate time and space in to it through relationships of shadows in the real world, locations of the sun at various times of the day and year, etc. Video and painting can do that too on some levels depending on where the painting is placed, what the environment the painting is in, and of course one of the primary elements of video is time – the 4th dimension to 3 Dimensional works so to speak.

With painting, drawing, and other reflected light art forms, there is also a lot going on with how elements of the painting work with one another. Layering colors together is sort of one of the main things painters do. We create depth and dimension to a 2 dimensional plane by placing brush strokes, and other elements next to one another, on top of one another, underneath one another… There’s literally a ton of work that goes in to this sort of stuff sometimes to make a “realistic” artwork. What’s sad though is most viewers of these things that may have taken hundreds of hours to put together typically only view the work for 3-10 seconds at the most unless something in partcular catches their eye or interest in the work.

Big sculptures and video have a little bit of an advantage over painting in that regard – the viewer is forced in to watching looking at those types of things for longer periods of time, leaving more time for the work to create an impression and message. However, painting has a “presence” that exists longer sometimes, in some works. It is a visual thing that can haunt you over time as your brain echos seeing the patterns on the image over and over.

Creating works of art is a bit like wandering through a maze. You have tons of decisions to make, and each one creates subsequent decisions to make. The painting with the most “potnential energy” might well be the blank canvas… just as the work of music that might create the most interest and cause you to think about things is complete silence…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUJagb7hL0E

Art is life. Life is art. Neither are a reflection of one another because both just are. They exist not in parallel to one another, or as a mirror to one another, but coexist, sometimes peacefully, other times in chaos. Out of chaos comes creation many times, and creation usually does eventually lead to some form of chaos.

The entire universe was created with a major big bang explosion of chaos, and from that came the beauty that we call life.

Converting stuff from one pen and paper rpg game system to another – World of Darkness and Palladium Books

Converting Characters, Powers, etc. from one gaming fantasy world in to another is not usually too difficult because most stats in most games are fairly similar on some level. Usually there is a roll done to check if some action is successful or not. If it is successful, there sometimes is another roll to determine what actually happens, or how successful the success was. The different gaming systems have different ways of doing that – some use D20s, some use D10s, some use D6s, and some actions, especially those that are skill based instead of against a particular player character or non-player character, are based on on a percentage, usually determined by two D10s are rolled, and one counts as the 10s part of the % and the other counts as the ones part of the %. A roll of 9 and 9 would be 99%. A roll of 0 and one would be 1% unless the one was in the tens slot, in which case it would be a 10%. On skill checks like that, the Game Master, or some pre-planned skill check base is used to determine if the roll is over the amount needed to successfully do whatever it is that the character is trying to do.

Since everything in all gaming systems is based on a check for success of failure, it’s usually just a matter of comparing the two systems you are trying to convert to or from against one another to see in what way you can play with the numbers to get to the average and go from there in all conversions.

For instance, World of Darkness games are usually based on dots that make up attributes or skills. 5 dots is usually considered about the highest humanly possible attribute. 10 dots is considered about as powerful as god in whatever skill that it is that those points are in. In that system, each dot represents a 10 sided dice that is rolled to check against some number, usually determined by the books or the game master – oops, I mean “story teller.”

In other books like Palladiumbooks Rifts, Hereoes Unlimited, etc. Most non-combat actions are based on skill checks that are % based, and most combat actions are based on the roll of a D20 to determine if a hit, punch, or power that is used successfully hits. That is sometimes contested by another characters roll of a D20 for defensive actions such as parrying, dodging, etc. If no defensive moves are used, the attackers D20 roll is usually contested against the other character’s armor, which has an armor rating… Rolls above the armor’s rating does damage to the character inside of the armor. Rolls below that do damage to the armor itself, unless the armor is a special armor such as a mutant’s metal power that gives them a high armor rating, in which case a roll below the armor rating usually does no damage. A roll of a “natural 20” or 90% or more is typically a super success, usually doing twice as much damage, or making the successful check against a skill super successful. For instance, you checked against your lockpick skill to open a bank vault – a roll of 95% when you just needed a 70% might mean you got in, no alarms went off, and there is actually the keys to a lamberghini parked outside that has no alarm system sitting on the floor of the vault. A roll of 1 or 2% is usually a miserable failure – so in the same situation, that would result in a full swat team showing up, the alarm going off, and you broke your lockpick and got your fingerprints all over the place.

I have played both of those game systems and loved them and successfully integrated them by simply thinking about how the dot system works vs the % system and the D20 system. Different people doing different conversions might come up with other conversions, but what I typically came up with was that 5 dots = 99% or so, so each dot = about 20% for skill checks… and on average, one dot = +3 in d20 rolls, giving 5 dots +15 advantage on all d20 rolls, which is really just about the best most powers and things can give you in the Palliadium world.

Now go put all those vampires, werewolves, mummies, wraiths, and things in to your Rifts or Heroes Unlimited Campaign to add a whole bunch of new layers of complexity to the world… or go the other way and put some of those nearly unkillable vampires from Heroes Unlimited up against the Camarilla of Chicago or the Sabbat of New York City, etc. Perhaps a new vampire hunter is an invulnerable mutant with supersonic speed. Maybe a demigod from Rifts World Books have found a rift in to the World of Darkness and have decided to take on the eternal mummies or maybe even Caine and Lilith one on one. There’s literally unlimited potential to bring your heroes unlimited opportunities for role playing.

In a future post I might put in some rules about converting to and from other game systems.

Feeds…

There’s a few feeds that will start showing up here in this blog today thanks to Twitterfeed and PingFM. The ones that I’m adding today are Entropia Gateway – the official blog of Entropia Universe, Atlas Haven Radio’s Tweets – which is Atlas Haven Radio’s Twitter Tweets, and Satteliteguys.us’s Tweets too. I also added a link to CGW’s recent articles because I like to read them and log in here at my own blog more than often than I have time to read their website all the time.

The reason that I’m adding these is that I personally like to follow stuff like this and think a lot of other folks do too if they are reading this blog. Each of these postings has a short url at the end that can take you to the original source, so no, this is not splog or copyright infringment or whatever… If these folks did not want people following their info, they would not have put together nice RSS Feeds to make this sort of stuff possible. Right now, even though there are ads on this blog, I’m not making any money off of them. I consider this to be a personal blog, not a commercial blog, even though it’s about showing you my interests, hobbies, etc.

Atlas Haven Radio Feed Posts will be prefixed as AHR:
Entropia Gateway’s Feed Posts will be prefixed as E.Gate:
Satelliteguys Blog Feed Posts will be prefixed as S.Guys:
Computer Graphic World’s Article Feeds will be prefixed as CGW:

I’m trying to keep the prefixes short since tweets are already pretty limited in how long they can be, and the prefix only makes the tweets even shorter. Hopefully they are still long enough to be useable.

Happy reading.

Things are a bit hectic.

Things are a bit hectic in my life at the moment, so I may not post here as much as I want to the next several weeks. We might be moving before long, which could impact how much weekend and afternoon time I have to post in here.

Also, at the moment I’m trying to work on uploading as many darn photos, and scans as I can to Shutterfly. When I get everything that I’ve got on the hard drive up there, I’ll be a bit more comfortable, and start taking the postings in here and some of the places I link to from here in a variety of directions. Family photos, and vacations photos on Shutterfly will likely be emailed to family members, especially for photos that I’ve never printed but that are still worth keeping.

Texture and stock photos (clouds, asphalt, concrete, bricks, etc.) will be grouped in to various albums on Shutterfly that I’ll email to myself.

I will also group photos on the hard drive more. It’s a bit of a pain since sometimes there’s naming issues as several photos that need to go in the same grouping folders have the same name. Little programs to rename things can be used to fix that… It’s just a bit time consuming organizing it all, but in the end it’ll be worth it. Ultimately, I’ll probably zip up similar stock photo themes – like clouds, concrete & bricks, etc. and upload them to the3dstudio and turbosquid to sell as zip file groups. I think a lot of the individual photos are on turbosquid already, but not too many zip files. I might also make some of the stuff freebies…

In the mean time, whenever I do get free weekends again, I’ll probably continue trying to scan my photos, and eventually photograph my paintings and things. I tried to photograph a few things in my portfolio a couple of years ago, but the lighting was too blown out of proportion due to the fact that I was doing it outside in the middle of the day when the sun is really too bright for that sort of thing.

Eventually, when I get this massive backlog of things organized and online where I want them and linked to from this blog, I will move foward in trying to do more stuff in the future. Every day I carry a camera and a couple of voice recorders with me to work… I also have a couple of boxes of color pencils and sketchbooks that I keep at work, in the car, and at home in case I get inspired to work in a sketchbook or on a panel at any time on breaks, waiting around in the car for an oil change, or whatever. There’s always time for art if you can just make the time! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚

Smoke Stack at Night

Smoke Stacks at Night
Smoke Stack at Night
Copyright 2010 by Jeff Thomann
Media: Photography
Original Status: Original is Digital Photo
Print/Purchase Status: This digital photo may be purchased online at http://www.turbosquid.com/FullPreview/Index.cfm/ID/512311
Themes: MU, Mizzou, Tigers, Columbia, Smoke, Smoke Stacks, Tower, Towers, Columbia, Missouri, Lighting, Night, Scene, Photo, Photography, photos, Jeff, Thomann, stack, fog, light, downtown, outside, atmosphere, mood, building, beacin, airplane, warning, city, urban, color, 2009

Genesis – The Golden

Genesis the Golden
Genesis – The Golden
Copyright 2010 by Jeff Thomann
Media: Color Pencil on Gessoed Hardboard
Original Status: Not for Sale at this time
Original Size: 5″x7″

http://www.zazzle.com/jeffthomann

I’m going to start using Zazzle more. It’s similar to Cafepress, but also different. I will likely go back to each of my artfolio images and re-upload them to Zazzle eventually, putting a new link to my zazzle account in each of the posts that I’ve already created on Cafepress. That way my products are in both Cafepress and Zazzle. I am also probably going to do likewise for Createspace, and Lulu. Additionally, I’ll likely move some of my images that are on Turbosquid over to Zazzle and Cafepress so that the good photos are on all the markets out there. I’m also investigating a few places that let artists sell their real world artwork directly and not electronically. I might use one of those places to sell originals of some things eventually.

My Zazzle shop is located at http://www.zazzle.com/jeffthomann

Studio Tip – Get Rechargable Batteries – And use them!… Also get organized…

If you have a digital camera, mp3 player, voice recorder, or even a cell phone, you probably already realize how important it is to have batteries that work on hand at all times. If you ever get in to creating stock photos or just using a digital camera or video recorder to give you source material to work with in whatever form of art you work with, this becomes even more important.

I can’t tell you how many times when shooting digital stock photos that I was out clicking away with a camera in a park or downtown somewhere and the camera I had on hand quit working because I ran out of battery power. That is a huge annoyance, especially if you like shooting clouds like I do, and you are in a time when the sun is either rising or setting, so each second lost that you did not get a shot of is gone forever because the clouds shift on you constantly and/or the “magic hour” changes dramatically as your big lightsource, the sun, is moving quickly under or over the horizon. “Magic Hour” really is not an hour. Twilight hours of sunset can cause dramatic changes in the light and way that things look on the horizon, and everywhere else outside in literal minutes or seconds.

My advice is that you have a lot of rechargeable batteries on hand and a couple of rechargers for them, and use the rechargers often. Some people say that rechargeable batteries have some sort of memory thing in them and remember how long each recharge took, so it’s bad to put the batteries in to the recharger before the battery is completely worn down. For some batteries, that may be true, but for most regular AA and AAA rechargable batteries, I don’t think that’s really quite the truth. I typically recharge my batteries when the camera shows that they are about down to one quarter power and have never really had a lot of problems. Of course, I am constantly recharging some batteries, so it’s hard for me to tell if that is an issue…

I have two rechargers. One of them holds a lot of batteries and I keep it at home, the other only holds four batteries, but it has a plug in that folds down. I keep that one in my camera bag, and carry it with my camera so that I can plug in at any time, anywhere. The bigger recharger is too large to do that with. However, I keep the bigger recharger full a lot of times and rotate out batteries from there often. I basically try to keep a handful of batteries charged at all times. If some of the the batteries sit unused for a few weeks, I go ahead and recharge the pile anyways so that they are ready when I need them.

Storing a bunch of batteries in a camera bag is a major pain, especially since most of the time, when you buy batteries they come in boxes that are meant to be thrown away after being open. For storage at home, I keep the clear plastic part of the boxes that the batteries came in, and might cut that down to size, and fit it inside of a Altoids box. Those little metal boxes that Altoids come in make fine battery holders since they are just big enough to hold a few AA or AAA batteries and still allow the lid to close. You would think the metal boxes would shock me since I’m putting batteries in them, but so far, I’ve never had any shocks or anything, so I guess the paint or ink they use on the box must not conduct electricity. Even if it does, I’m putting plastic liners from the boxes the batteries came in between the actual battery itself and the metal of the box, so that makes it all work well. To keep the Altoid boxes closed, I simply rubber band them shut.

I used to keep at least one of those Altoid boxes in my camera bag, but lately, I’ve gone to not keeping those in the camera bag since they are a bit of a hassle to mess with out in the field, especially as the rubber bands age, get weaker, and break, leaving the batteries to roam free in the camera bag, where all sorts of potential problems could happen if the acid ever did leak…

Now, in the camera bag, I keep the two batteries in the camera that the camera requires, and keep two batteries in each of the two voice recorders I carry in the bag, for a total of four spare batteries, or two battery swaps between the voice recorders and the camera in case the camera battery charge runs down. I find this ideal since the batteries are stored nicely away in the recorders, and if I do feel the need to use the recorder to record my own voice for notes or just feel like recording something out and about, like a bird chirping, a motorcycle whizzing by me, or whatever, I can just pop out the recorder and it’s ready to go. The reason I have two recorders is that I bought one, thought I lost it, bought a second one, and then a few months later, discovered where I had put the first one… It’s funny how that happens sometimes with little gizmos and gadgets.

If you don’t have a vocie recorder, but have some other tiny gadget that uses the same sort of battery as your camera, you might look in to getting something like that to hold your batteries so that you don’t risk having the batteries just jubmled in the camera bag or case, ready to give some nice acid burns to your camera or whatever else is in there. I’ve only seen a battery leave an acid burn on something one time – it was an old plastic mug that I used to store non-rechargeable batteries in many years ago before I started using rechargeable batteries. The marks it left as the acid dug in to the plastic of the cup were horrible looking. It’d really suck to see something like that happen to a digital camera.

Other things I keep in the camera bag other than the camera, the voice recorders, and the little battery recharger are the top part of a big tripod that actually attaches to the bottom of the camera, and a mini-tripod. I also keep a couple of thumb drives and spare digital camera chips in there to make it easy to store things. The thumb drives are attached via a little stretcy cord that the casino gives out with it’s cards for people to use to remember to not leave their casino cards in the slot machines. I like that because it keeps me from loosing the thumb drives as they are attached to the camera case.

I actually have 3 camera cases. The first one is a little one that holds my little bitty camera itself and came with the camera. It’s very flimsy, but I keep it on there to cover the lens. I put the camera and that little case in to the second case, which is a big bigger and is what I mainly use to carry the camera around my neck when out and about. The third is a Polaroid camera case that I keep the other case in. I use it because it’s big enough to hold the littler case and a few other odds and ends – the tripod top and voice recorders, mentioned above.

I have an entirely seperate bag that I use to keep color pencils and sketch books in the car. At one point in time, I tried to avoid using the Polaroid case, and just put the little camera case in that bag, but that got to be too much of a hassle. Now I just leave the color pencil and sketchbook bag in the back seat of the car, and take the Camera in and out of the car, and with me wherever I go so that it’s handy, and does not get left in the car during hot/cold temperatures that could damage the electronic equipment inside.

At home I have a few toolboxes that I use to keep other things around the house/studio organized. I love the big tool boxes with different slots in them – nice way to organize pastels, pencils, ink pens, etc.

When I was in college, I used to haul a lot of big sketch pads, drawings, and some paintings in a plastic portfolio that I carried around campus to class. That was a major hassle since the classes were in various buildings scattered around campus and my apartment was several blocks away. Carrying big portolios is a tough enough job by itself since they are big and bulky… That only gets worse as you get more and more things in there to carry. You would think paper, being as thin as it is would not be heavy in big bulks, but you would be wrong… especially on humid days when the paper absorbs a lot of moisture just to make itself heavier for you. To make that walking around campus more handy, I ended up taking a duffel bag strap and attaching it to the portfolio handles. That made it much easier to handle the bag and still carry other things like books that I needed to take to class. I have NO idea why porfolio making companies have not made it an industry standard to put shoulder straps on portfolios yet. It’s something that really is needed to help make it easier for all those art students and aspiring artists everywhere be able to carry their stuff. Some Art Directors might like the neat little polished look of the little bitty handles on portolios, but I suspect that they would like the portfolios a lot more if the artists were more comfortable actually walking around with the portfolios so that they could bring them in more often, and have a descent amount of work in the portfolio to show off. I know a lot of artists aching backs and shoulders would be thankful if big art portfolio started getting made with shoulder straps.

Getting organized, and able to transport your art making supplies, is one key to creating great art. A tool such as a camera, voice recorder, pastel, conte crayon, paintbrush, or color pencil is not very useable if it’s buried in the back of a closet in a box underneath of a lot of other things. Each individual artist has to come up with their own organizational strategy that fits their own personalities and needs. If you are not organized yet, you might look at ways that you can start getting that way in the near future. It really can help you be creative when you have tools that are handy that you can grab any time and just start using. Digging around for stuff is a major hassle.

Studio Tip – Keeping pencil shavings, and other things…

I love keeping the shavings off pencils as I sharpen them. Sometimes there is just enough color or graphite left to allow for one or two more uses of the leftovers on there that might come in handy someday. Additionally, the shavings are handy for doing interesting things such as creating brush strokes with paint that would be impossible to create with normal brushes, blending color on paintings or drawings by using the shavings as blending stumps, or they can be useful to just have around, sitting in a plastic bottle or jar to look at for inspiration since they various colors and shapes can sometimes give me compositional ideas.

Similarly, I love keeping paint covered palletes and clothing that I’ve used over the years. The splatters on the clothing of various material, whether it’s plaster, paint, tar, or something else mix to create interesting forms and shapes. I think Jim Dine used to keep his studio clothing as seperate pieces of artwork in and of themselves. This is a very good idea. The various materials I see on the various pieces of clothing that I’ve coated with artistic make me think about what was done to create each splatter, and shape, and form. Lately, for palletes, I use paper or stryofoam plates since my latest easel is made to hold those – that makes it a lot easier to keep the pallettes after the painting is done than it used to be when the palletes were expensive items that I typically ended up damaging as I tried to clean them off. It’s a memory jarring thing for us artists. My wife just calls me a pack rat, lol. I might take some digital photos or scans of some pallets and painted clothing sometimes, and create digital works from that. That’s what’s very nice about art – you can recycle ideas, shapes and forms, or elements of various artwork over and over… Infinite possibilities…

I also like keeping old paint brushes. The shapes they can create are likely unique. The same applies to any art instrument or some non-art instruments that can be converted in to art instruments. I love using various items as paint brushes sometimes… Some of the various items I’ve used in the past as a paint brush or brush to apply ink to paper or canvas are tooth picks, old tooth brushes (only use my own for that though so I don’t get a lot of other folks germs, lol), pieces of fabric, sculpey, thumbtacks, branches off of pine trees, pine cones, feathers, blades of grass, nails, screws, and broken light bulbs just to name a few.

I also like to keep a few oddball items around just to play with or to get ideas from… I don’t smoke, but keep a ciggarette lighter in my drawing toolbox sometimes – burnt edges on paper can look neat. I also keep a small handheld mirror or two as well as a full length mirror in the studio to play around with. Knives can be useful for digging layers off of paintings too… or just be neat to look at and draw…

I have one really wicked looking hunting knife in my drawing box that I used to keep in there for protection purposes, not that I ever had to use it. You never know who might come up to you and start bothering you if you are an artist out in the wilderness somewhere at a park or something and are trying to do a pein air painting… I don’t condone violence, but I hear about rapes, murders, and theft in the news way to often to just be out there in the woods by myself on the side of a hiking trail to not have some sort of protection nearby, even if it is just an old cell phone that can be used to call 911.

They say that any cell phone has to legally be allowed to call 911 regardless of whether you still have service on it or not – might not hurt to keep one in your drawing toolbox, basket, book bag, or whatever you use carry around with you to hold your brushes, pencils, or sketchbooks, especially if you are female. In the worst case scenario it could save your life. In the best case scenario it can be useful to call your spouse or significant other to come and pick you up, or to call for a pizza delivery or something. Most cell phones these days have cameras on them – so that is a useful art tool in and of itself, and makes carrying one around with you at all times something you should really think about doing if you are not already.

http://mastermesh.winkflash.com/

http://mastermesh.winkflash.com/ is where I’ll put stock photos and various other free images on occassion going forward. Right now there’s only two pics there in the Public folder. In the future, I may add more. I like winkflash. I just hope they stay around as long as their website claims they will, forever.

Also, for you folks in my family reading this, I’ll probably upload some family photos out there in a non-public folder to share with you in the future. So far, finding a place to upload photos to share privately that has unlimited space has been a major hassle. I’m hoping winkflash is the solution to that major problem.

scanning paintings.

I have not tried this yet on paintings that are larger than the width of my scanner, but I might give it a try.

http://www.susansavad.com/t_scan.html

It’d have to be cheaper than trying to get a professional camera studio together, trying to buy gigantic flatbed scanners, or taking paintings off of the stretchers to have some place like Kinkos scan them in their big roll scanners (cost of doing that is like 7 bucks just for getting a digital scan – no printing cost – tha’d be extra, and then I think only flimsy paper stuff works.. and I doubt they’d put charcoal type stuff in their scanner, but I could be wrong?)

On the other hand…
Some of the arguments against flatbed scanning mentioned over at http://photo.net/photography-lighting-equipment-techniques-forum/00Tl26 are pretty good ones…

Color Pallette… Color Blindness… When is a something done?

I have mentioned color pallette in a few postings already, but don’t think I’ve gone in to a lot of detail about my personal preferences in my own color uses, why I have those preferences, etc. so I figured it might be time to post a little bit about that here, even though most of the stuff that I’m uploading to the artfolio is not color yet – It’s mainly black and white or blue and white sketchbook scans for now, but I’ll get around to uploading the color works later, and at that time, it’ll be good to know a little about my use of color.

For those of you that don’t know this yet, I am partially color blind. Greens and Reds that are medium toned or darker tend to look alike to me, which appears to be the same color as a grey color (just black and white) tone of the same value. Luckily, I’m not fully color blind, or else this little issue would have a much more major impact on my artwork than it does now. Bright reds, and greens are very visible to me. It’s only the darker tones that are usually seen in shadows that make things a bit difficult for me.

Because of this, I have a tendency to drive myself towards pointillism type of styles, or similar types of styles that use visual color mixing instead of real color mixing, at least in this part of the color spectrum. That way, I can move in very close to the canvas, and look at what is going on with the color blobs up close and personal to try to resolve issues and create a plan of attack to figure out what move to make next in this chess game of creating art.

Eye strain headaches does come to me after a while of doing this sort of stuff, especially since I’m near sighted… because I’m constantly looking at different areas of the painting, or color drawings at a distance, and then up close, and then at a distance, and maybe upside down to check composition, etc. I did not even realize I needed glasses for my near-sightedness until after I graduated from college, but I really should have probably gotten glasses a very long time before that. My dad loves transitions lenses and got me hooked on using them since they keep me from having to constantly buy sunglasses only to lose them. However, the transition lenses do cause me problems when making art and viewing art sometimes since they put a dark tone on everything I see through them. Because of that, I have to take off my glasses to view things in museums, galleries, or as I paint sometimes so that I’m not making major color/tonal mistakes. That causes even more eye strain on occassion. I do like the transition lenses since my eyes are pretty sensitive to light, and they make staring at a computer all day at my 40 hour a week job more tolerable. However, I hate that they cause me to not be able to see a lot of true colors at a distance… All through school, I remember squinting a lot in painting classes and drawing classes. I just assumed that this was normal at the time since I had never thought to check with a vision specialist. I knew that I was color blind, and just sort of assumed that the squinting and headaches were a normal part of the process of creating art. I sometimes wonder how things would have been different if I had glasses way back in elementatry school….
Strangely, all of this does not have a huge impact on viewers of my work because a lot of artists use green to muddy down red and vice versa to get shadow colors and tones as they are on opposite ends of the color spectrum.

My favorite colors are somewhat bright and intense. As mentioned in another post, I love the color pallette that folks like Remington use, where there’s lots of vividness to the work and it sort of brings a positive cheery mood in to play.

I like mixing colors on the canvas itself visually more than a lot of other painters do. I do mix colors when I can but like using paint staight out of the bottle when possible so that it’s easier to come back to an area and re-work it or balance it out with similar colors on opposite ends of the canvas if I need to… Stuff that comes out of a bottle is usually mixed fairly closely to other stuff that comes out of a bottle that has the same label and is made by the same company. That makes it easier to not have a lot of worries about painting an area and then needing more of that same paint mix later, but not being able to find it because you cannot figure out the exact proportions of which paint you mixed to arrive at that color, especially when, like me, you are color blind so physicially mixing the paint is a very difficult chore. That label on the bottles of paint helps ease my mind in making decisions since I know that the green in that bottle is the same green that I got out of that bottle an hour ago. Pointillism type effects can be used to help mix and match just about any color that exists, at least at a certain distance.

My favorite oil paint colors are usually Cadmium Red (for bright bold red intensity), Crimson Red (for darker red tones and colors), Currealean Blue (for highlights that are in blue – lots of artists are afraid to use blue in highlights, which is a huge loss to their works), Cobalt Blue (for mid-intensity blues), Prussian Blue (for really deep dark blues), and occassionally a very bright yellow, and maybe something strange like violet, which can be very bright and noticible if applied thickly or almost unnoticible if applied thinly with the rest of the colors mentioned above, either scumbled on or put in to small dabs in small pointillism type fields of color on the canvas. I also use just about any other color out there that I can on occassion in small bits, but the colors listed above are the main ones that I usually end up utilizing the most. Most of my works usually end up heading toward red/blue side of the color spectrum because of that. There’s just something about Purple/Violet combinations or near-purple violet that is reached by visual color mixing that I really love – it’s a deep passionate, and dramatic color scheme.

I have a bad tendency to sometimes fall in to the elementary color trap that many artists fall in to on occasions, thinking of blue as dark/cool, red as bright/midrange, and orange for brighter areas than that, and yellows for highlights, instead of really looking at the way things are in reality and trying to match it as closely as possible – where all areas of the color spectrum exist in both bright and dark areas. I do try to balance out that fallacy, which is not always a true representation of reality when I can, but it’s usually a lengthy process since I try to put more and more color range in to both shadows and highlights as I proceed throughout a color pencil drawing or painting — many times I fail horribly and overwork the artwork. It’s hard to know when a work of art is “done.” There are defintitely “levels of doneness” as I like to think of them to any work of art…

Simple abstract forms with simple lines is the first level. The second level takes that and adds more tones or patterned areas to break up the light and dark more. The third level balances things out more and more, making the really complex patterns more worked out with brush stroke placement becoming one of the most important aspects of the work – a small line that’s the wrong color in the wrong place can unbalance everything and cause compositional balance to completely dissappear. Then, on the next level, things really start getting complex… as Professor Bohac used to say, that’s when it’s time for an artist to “fight their way out of a paper bag…” because a simple little thing that’s as wide as a centimeter or smaller can unbalance the entire work…. and as paintings start coming to a level of “reality” that is almost near photo-quality things get even more complex, and the “living elements” of the work start dissappearing more and more… The more realistic a painting gets to be, in terms of photo-realism, the less gestural qualities the work has… Artists, especially those that work with narrative, portrait, or landscape subjects can find themselves in hard to get out of places with their works as they get in to internal conflict about “how realistic” to make the work… since each level of realism requires more work on the entire canvas…

A simple line drawing done in 30 seconds or less can be thought of as a final work of beautiful art just as a photo-realistic painting that took thousands of hours to create can… Any and Everything in between these two extremes is where most artist live. It’s a very dangerous rocky terrain with a lot of smooth valleys full of beautiful smelling flowers. It takes a true artist to know how to balance it all out and make sure that the level of realism is right for the work in question, and each individual area of each work’s composition in question. There’s a different answer for each artists and each individual work.

As I post more artworks in to this blog, I’ll try to explain my own individual tendencies, techniques, and ways of doing things to get my works to where I want them. It is often said that an artist is his/her own most critical judge. I agree with that somewhat. However, that judgement is what makes us who we are, and makes us strive to do better in the future, or to strive to make horrible and hideously disgusting works that cause fear in the hearts of mankind…. It’s all about figuring things out and making them work… knowing the messages you are trying to communicate and trying to find ways to make those messages clear. For me compositional balance is a very important thing. For others, maybe not so much. I’ll try to post more artwork here in the blog later this week.

Inspirations – Anselm Kiefer

Another couple of great and inspiring works that I found at the Modern Museum of Art in Fort Worth, Texas were Anselm Kiefer’s Book with Wings


Book with Wings by Anselm Kiefer

, and Die Aschenblume.
Die Aschenblume by Anselm Kiefer

I have always been a fan of Kiefer’s works. The first work that I ever saw of his is located in the St. Louis Museum of Art, Breaking of the Vessels.

Breaking of the Vessels by Anselm Kiefer

Kiefer’s work is gigantic, and epic, but also sublime and simple. It questions history, and our place in it. It takes Germanic Expressionism to a whole new level. It brings the painting/sculptures to the people, quite literally… It calls to mind the supernatural and makes us think about why it is, what our relationship is with it. It makes us question our reality and opens our minds to thinking about things more. I could write tons about the psychology behind Kiefer’s works, but think many great authors have already done so over and over, so I’ll leave you to explore their ideas on your own time.

Kiefer’s works are something that you need to experience in person. The hugeness of the works, and strange physicality to the works is something that digital photos and art books do absolutely no justice to.

Anselm Kiefer is a master of mixing physical things in to his paint and integrating sculpture in to his painterly works. Frank Stella is the only artist I know of that has works that combine 2d and 3d elements in such strange combinations that they start to come close to the mastery that Kiefer has over this realm. However, Stella’s works are typically pretty happy colors from the pretty happy rainbows that the pop world embraces while Kiefer’s is made of the mud-like dreary colors that are true dramatic tragedies that explore the psychological world a heck of a lot more in-depth than Stella’s simple facades ever can.

I’d love to do artwork the size of Anselm Kiefer’s most popular works, but don’t because the sheer enormity of such works make storage a gigantic problem unless the works are going directly in to museums and galleries. Taking photos of the works is also problematic because of the huge size. A photo just does not do these sort of works any justice since there is so much more to the works than a simple photo can capture.

History of Caligari… and a little 3d industry history.

This is all ancient news to those that pay attention to the 3d industry, but I’m posting here anyways just for folks that may not be aware…

http://www.caligari.com/company/timelinenew.asp?Subcate=Company&SubV=Timeline

1982, Roman Ormandy defects from Czechoslovakia and spends three years in New York. Starting in the shipping department of a suitcase factory making Apple suitcases, he breaks into the PC business.

1985, Roman attends Siggraph ’85 in San Francisco. He admires the SGI workstations, but buys an Amiga PC and the trueSpace vision is born!

1986, Video tape of Caligari prototype is displayed in Commodoreโ€™s booth at 1986 Siggraph which generates tremendous interest. Octree Corporation is founded, setting out to revolutionize the 3D marketplace.

1988, Caligari1, one of the first 3D visualization products for the Amiga is released. It does not do much yet but it has a novel interface and integrated workspace.

1990, Caligari2 is released for the Amiga. Positioned as a design and video production tool, it supports photorealistic rendering and “real time response to all user actions”. (2Mb of RAM required)

1991, Caligari Broadcast sports animated deformations, sweep tools, interactive spline based hierarchical animations, a visual time editor and resolution up to 8000×8000.

1992, Caligari24 is released with upgraded features such as 32Bit color, organic deformations and further improvements in perspective interface. It soon becomes clear, however, that MS Windows would become the standard operating platform.

1993, Octree moves from New York to the Silicon Valley. Leaving the East Coast behind, it designs a new software architecture and changes its name to Caligari Corporation.

1994, trueSpace, powerful, usable 3D graphics and animation for Windows is released. It changes the landscape of the 3D market with the first integrated 3D animation and modeling package.

1995, trueSpace2 is released to receive critical acclaim and industry awards. It is the first 3D software to support 3D acceleration, alas no 3D accelerators are shipped at the time.

1996, Pioneer is released as the 1st VRML authoring tool integrated with a built-in browser. Wins critical acclaim but VRML fails to live up to user expectations.

1997, trueSpace3 builds upon the excellence and ease-of-use legacy by integrating VRML, inverse kinematics, physics, metaballs, 3D paint and collision detection. More awards follow.

1998, trueSpace4 – Born to Accelerate. 8th generation and a major step forward in 3D authoring, trueSpace4 closes the gap between high end and ease of use.

2000, iSpace – a web graphics tool that enables the creation of stunning 3D graphics in HTML and Flash format. It delivers photorealistic web sites and uses simple drag&drop interface.

2001, trueSpace5 – Reality Designer, providing designers access to an affordable and powerful 3D design tool for all stages of the creative process including conceptual design.

2002, trueSpace6 improves workflow and professional design tools like layers and deform tools. It also reduces repetitive tasks through arrays, mirror modeling and more, making everything from modeling to final render, faster and simpler than ever before.

2003, trueSpace6.6 – introduces non-linear animation, and improved physical simulation. Workflow and modeling are further enhanced, keeping trueSpace the ideal choice for animation, design, illustration and game creation.

2003, gameSpace – 3D content creation for game development software and game engines, based on the trueSpace6.6 core and providing tailored modeling and animation tools, import and export, at a realistic price point. 2006, truePlay – free application to allow anyone to enter the shared 3D spaces, for collaboration with colleagues, friends and peers.

2006, trueSpace7 – introduces a whole new software core, which includes the first ever collaborative workspace that allows people to work together in the same shared 3D space. V-Ray renderer, new DX9 real-time view, and new scripting, physics and procedural objects also introduced.

2007, trueSpace7.5 – expands on the tools introduced in trueSpace7, adding better character animation, and more tools in the new workspace aspect of the program.

2008, Caligari and Microsoft join forces – Now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation, Caligari is able to release trueSpace7.6 for free. With further expansions and improvements to the tools, now anyone can make professional 3D at no cost

It’s been interesting seeing this company come to life, and die by being bought by one of the biggest companies around. Caligari was a neat startup. Unfortunately, a lot of neat startups get gobbled up by gigantic corporations. This is just one of the latest examples of this in the 3d industry…

Autodesk and Adobe are too other giants that eat their competition like Microsoft did with Caligari, and other companies are too to various degrees..

Alias bought Kaydara in 2004. Kaydara had created some awesome software called Motionbuilder, and they actually were selling it to individual artist very cheaply. Go check out the history of it on the forums at 3d buzz… Back when I got my personal edition from Kaydara itself it costs about 100.00 or 200.00…

Autodesk bought Alias in 2005 thereby taking over both Motion builder and Maya…

and looky here at what happened… Now the personal edition is long gone and Motion Builder costs $3995.00!

Adobe did the same thing with Flash a long time ago (originally owned by Macromedia).

It is nice that what used to cost a lot (TrueSpace) is now free… I originally bought version 3, then upgraded to 4, then 5… and quit upgrading after that because I switched over to Lightwave around that time… but it is sort of sad to see a company get gobbled up… especially one that was nice to new users and had a very good interface that helped developing 3d artist learn the ropes.

If you like the fact that trueSpace if free since you are an artist or want to become one, you might check out http://www.wings3d.com/, http://www.anim8or.com/, and http://www.blender.org/since Wings, anim8or, and blender are also free. Other freebies are out there, but these are the main ones that I know of that a lot of folks use.

Gmax is also free, but it’s several years old and is really just a dumbed down version of 3d Studio Max, which the big corporation Autodesk owns and wants you to pay a lot for…

It’ll probably just be a matter of time before Microsoft execs figure out some way to make Caligari’s trueSpace and gameSpace technolgy become massively expensive toys for the rich.

(If you can’t tell by the tone in this post, I’m not a huge fan of Micro$oft. I can’t tell you how many crashes have killed my artwork and other creative endeavors because Windows 95, 98, and XP all were pure junk. Vista is not far behind, but it a little more stable… Also, as someone that plays Entropia Universe a lot, I have a little bit of a grudge against Microsoft for when they tried to kill of Project Entropia in it’s early days by falsely accusing them of being pirates.)

Inspirations – Jimmy Kuehnle

I looked up Jimmy the other day on facebook after looking through a list of artists that I went to school with at Truman State U.

http://assessment.truman.edu/components/5year/Art2004.pdf is the list of artist I found. That list is far from a comprehensive list as it only names a few names, and it actually has a lot of false or half truth info. I don’t work nor ever have worked for Boone Hospital. I do work in a University Hospital in the same town though.

I remember Jimmy from back there in college as being an interesting individual, just as I was. However, he was a lot more outgoing than I was.

It looks like that has not changed much, and has actually become the focus of his work to some degree. Drawing attention to ones self is something artists must do on some level since it’s all about bringing the fragile inner psyche out for examination by the artist and those around him or her that become viewers…

Here’s an interesting article on him that is linked to from his facebook account:
Don’t be alarmed: The walking balloon is artist Jimmy Kuehnle.

Using baloons to create gigantic mobile sculptures is a very cool idea. We all expect to see this sort of stuff going down a huge parade or something, but not just out in the everyday. It is neat to see that Jimmy’s becoming the pied piper so to speak.

I guess this sort of thing might make him seem silly to those that don’t know him, but that’s actually a good thing since it opens the general public’s eyes up – makes them become aware of their environment, surroundings, and gives them the privilege to meet someone that is a great artist! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ˜‰

Inspirations – http://www.wordsaroundtown.com/

Clarissa left me a little comment over at https://jeffthomann.wordpress.com/2010/01/09/mall-small-19-drawing/ talking about her friend’s website at http://www.wordsaroundtown.com/ so I figured I’d visit and do this Inspirations posting about it. I have not really done many (read any, lol) inspirations postings up til now that have to do with anyone’s art that I did not know about before now. Time to change that, and start exploring the art world in these here intra-web tubes.

As indicated at http://www.wordsaroundtown.com/page8.php wordsaroundtown.com is owned by Kevin McCartney Studios.

Kevin appears to be a very good photographer.

The words around town site seems to be made of various pictures that Kevin has taken and converted in to fonts to spell out words.
He’s using the forms he finds in his compositions as letters.

As stated in the site, Kevin has a real enthusiasm about this obscure typographical artform…

The challenge of finding objects around us that we normally pass by everyday without a second glance which look like letters has been exciting and fun!

Finding the hidden beauty in everyday things that we often pass by without a second glance IS, in my opinion one of the great things that exploring art does for people that get in to art.

Finding the invisible forms as Kevin is doing and making it visible is sort of a theme that has run through art for many years. It is an obscure idea that can be traced back to the Surrealist movement, especially in Salvador Dalรญ’s paintings… but the idea actually goes back a lot further than that.

Trompe-l’ล“il means “fool the eye” and that phrase is what is best used to describe or categorize this form of art. Actually, almost every form of 2-dimensional work that goes back to the earliest known cave arts is somewhat in this to some degree – since after all making a window out of something that is not a window as paintings do is fooling the eye so to speak.

It’s all about hidden messages or meanings, and really being a keen observer of the world in order to see the form and the way that simple basic design principles can allow multiple things to happen in the same plane.

The idea of bringing the reality of the 2-dimensional canvas of a painting or photograph in to the viewers plain sight so that it’s simple beauty can be observed in and of itself outside of all other rules and principles of creating illusion is a very modern idea that is seen over and over and over again in 20th centrury art. That’s why I say that genres like Cubism, Op-Art, and a lot of other genres that focus on the 2-dimensional existence of the plane in an artwork are MORE REALISTIC than simple little paintings that pretend to be windows showing pretty landscapes or cityscapes that most other people classify as Realistic…

Is it realistic to pretend that the 2 dimensional surface on a wall is something other than a surface on a wall? Sure there can be little pictures in there, just like there is on that flat plane you are looking in to to see these words, or that you will view tonight as you watch Prime Time TV… but isn’t it more realistic to acknowledge that what you are looking at is really a 2 dimensional flat surface?… as Kevin has done by seeing the letters in his photographs?

Some folks even take this sort of idea in photography to a whole different level in the form of Photomosaics… After all, if a photograph is really just a bunch of dots made up of 4 colors, CYMK (Cyan Yellow, Magenta, and blacK), it makes sense that each photo is balanced more towards one of those 4, so it makes sense to use an entire photo as one small element in a larger picture… Actually, given enough time and photos, photomosaic technology could go to a whole new level and allow an infinite amount of images to exist hidden inside of a set of photos… the first level would look like something from space, then as you approach it to the airplane level it would phase and each level as you get closer and closer could phase in to a new image, hidden… only to dissolve as new ones come in to play. The hidden typography that Kevin is searching for is a little different than Photomosaics, but not completely. There is a lot of similarities there – searching for what is hidden in plain view.

It’s strange but all language and all these ideas that get thrown at us daily in these little windows that are not windows are something that connects us all as a society. People from 200 years ago would think we are crazy staring at computers and tvs and spending as much time as we do daily on these devices that are really 2 dimensional boxes producing light. Works like this make people think. They can become kitsch or cliche sometimes if overdone, but they do start to open the mind, and let people begin to question reality itself on some level, which, in my opinion is what all great art should do.

Keep looking for the hidden meanings Kevin. Your typographic photos are amazing. Keep spreading the Love.

A few thoughts about illustration… copyright, trademarks, why “Work-for-hire” is EVIL… and Zombies, or actually Golems Really due exist!

While I say I love illustration, and want to get in to the illustration field, I think it only fair to give you a little bit of background about me, and some of my own personal biases and things about illustration… In the wide world of illustration, usually the client always comes first. The artist does work for the client. The artist creates things, but seeks approval from the client at each step of the process. The preliminary concept art is just thought of as something to hand to the client to seek approval. The client and artist then have a disucssion and talk about things, and go to the next step… and the artist continually changes the idea to be in agreement with what the client is wanting since the client has the ultimate say as the artist is seeking payment for the work from the client.

A little bit of a philisophical problem that I have with that sort of thing, at least in my own works, is that I consider each work of art that is created in every stage of creation as a seperate and unique art form… something that is not just a preliminary work for something later, to be discarded like pretty wrapping paper that is torn apart as a Christmas present is opened. The process of creation has multiple stages. Quick little doodles done in a sketchbook are just as valid as a final work of art as something that’s been re-worked three hundred times by an illustrator or designer that is seeking permission from his or her client.

Another huge issue in all of that is the “work-for-hire” issue. Many clients want illustrators and designers that work for them to consider their work as “work-for-hire.” According to the way contract law works, art that is created as “work-for-hire” is artwork that the client will own the copyright to. In other words, if an artist creates work-for-hire artwork, the artist will have to seek permission from the copyright owner to republish the work that he or she created, and the same thing applies to and “derivitive” work… that is work that is dervived from the original… That puts artists that work in “work-for-hire” contracts in a really sticky situation since they can never use the work for hire stuff unless they get permission again, which might actually end up costing them money, etc. The derivitive issue makes the bad situation even worse because most artist tend to build a sort of visual library in their subconscious that forces works they create later in life to resemble works they created earlier… which is something they could possibly get sued for if the earlier work was a work-for-hire form of art.

For this reason, I’m not sure if I could ever “really” be a full time illustrator. However, I do like the idea of illustrating things, and creating narrative structures, so it’s possible that I might be able to get in to this field sort of. One reason I really am attracted to using Public Domain stuff as the basis of illustration is that the original copyright owner no longer has copyright over that stuff, nor does anyone else… so it’s free game for anyone… However, writers that no longer have copyrights on their books are probably long gone, and so other people probably have created derivitive works of those books and artforms over and over throughout the years, so it leaves the ancient stuff as content that will be difficult to gain any economic profits off of in a direct manner… since dead writers won’t pay anything usually… That’s why I got interested in Cafe Press, Lulu.com and other similar types of places in my exploration of all of this stuff. The internet has created a lot of new little niche areas for many of us to investigate if we want to take the time to get in to it. There’s a lot to explore and play around with in the huge playground of tweaking public domain concepts, ideas, and works, and redistrubting them with our own little additions, changes, etc.

Eventually, if I do get in to making book covers and interior illustrations for Public domain books I will build up a lot of variety and introduce new fresh ideas, in hopes that maybe someday a real writer that is alive today might ask me to do some works for their books, magazine articles, blogs, etc. If that does happen, this whole work-for-hire issue will likely come up down the road. I guess I’ll cross those bridges if/when I get to that point. Regardless, if you create artwork, this IS something you should be thinking about somewhat. There’s a lot to copyright and trademark laws. I don’t claim to be a lawyer, but do know that this sort of stuff can be a major hassle if you don’t think about it before you dive in to a contract or situation similar to a contract that is all done with verbal agreements, etc.

Do you really want to give away your right to be creative?!?… Just something to think about.

A similar thing to think about – be sure that you are honoring the Copyrights and Trademarks of other… If you want to create a work of art depicting a soda can or car, are you aware that you could be sued by Ford or Coke, or any other company if the work looks too much like theirs? This is especially true of photographs. Speaking as someone that has had some photos removed from Turbosquid a few years ago because Turbosquid received a Cease and Desist Letter from Ford due to the fact that there was a Ford car somewhere in the forground of a picture I shot once, even though it was not the main focus of the composition, I can say this stuff is a reality you SHOULD think about before and while you are making your artworks. The possibility of having to go to court and pay high lawyer fees and court fees just because you clicked your camera in the wrong place is not a fun situation to be in! Ford is probably one of the biggest companies that chases people down for this sort of thing, but any copyright or trademark owner can do similar at any time because copyright and trademark law DOES apply to “derivitive works.”

For yourself, this can be a good thing, as you could possibly sue others if they create artworks that are in your style or just look too much like your work for your liking… However, what comes around goes around, and the you can find yourself on the receiving end of the same issue if you create works that are too much like other folk’s stuff too… which is something we all need to think about a LOT as everywhere you turn today there’s some namebrand, logo, or copyrighted thing in your face 24/7.

Your computer has a logo on it… oops better not photograph or draw it. You want to take a photo of a street – oops there’s a car on it that was created by an automobile company that has a trademark on that design. You shoot a photo of a gargoyle on a building – oops there’s an architect or sculptor somewhere that owns the copyright to that design. You shoot a picture of the sunset – oops there’s an airplane flying low there that was designed by a company with a trademark on that shape. You take a picture of a wall in your house – oops someone has a tradmark, and probably a copyright on the design of that wallpaper… Where is nature? That is one of the few things people can’t copyright… Nope?!?… someone has done a picture of a deer posing in that posture before! YIKES!

If you take a photo of someone, or create any form of artwork depicting anyone – you have even more issues to deal with since there are privacy laws. That’s why you always see notices in various films, literary works, etc. say any resmblence to real people in the characters depicted is coincidental, etc. It’s also why photographers need to get the permission of anyone they photograph, usually in a written form so that they can prove that the permission was obtained. The little photo of Barrack Obama standing next to the China Wall that was put in Times Square by the coat company is just one of the newest little examples of where these sort of issues can come up and cause major problems for all parties involved…

All of these little issues are amplified by the fact that Zombies, or at least Golems really do exist! As mentioned in How to Argue & Win Every Time: At Home, At Work, In Court, Everywhere, Everyday, corporations and money are both lifeless beings that we give life to… things that are really dead that we give power to.

(*Perhaps the Golem are the invisible corporations and the Zombies are the employees that become “dead” 40 hours a week to serve the golem?*)

Sometimes, actually far more times than we probably want to acknowledge, we actually give our entire lives to these souless, lifeless beings! Corporations are our society’s gods from the ancient world. They don’t really exist but everyone knows that they are there. Everyone talks about them… shares stories about them… We even give them Social Security Numbers and call those Tax Identification Numbers… We give them life through our <a href="Memes“>about them.

Logos and employees are just one sign of their existence, as are all the contracts created in their names… Curators of Universities, CEOs, Company Presidents and others in power in the coporate world, just to name a few, are the priests of this religion that we don’t call a religion, but they are NOT the corporation itself, even if they think they are. They are hired and fired by the invisible zombies or golems that we breathe life into, just like everyone else. The piece of paper that creates a corporation is NOT the corporation itself. The corporations don’t really exist in our world, but we all pretend that they do and continue to bring life to them in our belief in them… continue to pay homage to them every time we think about that brand name we want to pay for, etc…. They are the true gollems that all of us helped bring in to power to submit our entire beings too in some way, shape, or form.

Advertising, and all of the little illustrations that come from it is just one of the many little offerings that are given to these souless, lifeless zombies to help them exist. You can call me a crazy lunatic if you want, but when you really dig deep and think about it, you have got to know that it’s true!

Does this mean I don’t want to be an illustrator. Of course not. I love to illustrate things, tell stories, bring life to the lifeless objects around me.

In a strange way, all people that create art, or anything really – letters that you made when you hit the keyboard on your computer (you do know that each letter and phrase is different from place to place in the world which is why there’s different languages that exist – we all breathe life in to our own perception of reality that the elders in our tribe have taught us IS reality and so we make it become OUR reality too), recipies you put together to eat, All Things that we do really… sort of do the same thing, whether it’s for a corporation or their own needs and wants to create. Art itself is something we breathe life in to, and it sort of takes on a life of it’s own in that process. Maybe all of this is something Jesus was talking about when he said you cannot serve God and Mammon?… but in reality, that’s not really possible is it, at least not if we want to live in this world and exist – Give to Ceaser what belongs to Ceaser…

Anyways, I am a living being, just as you are, and as The Universe’s Creator is. The act of creating things is in some ways the real and ultimate goal and meaning of the universe?… or is it? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, be sure to make your works your own, and unique enough that you don’t get sued for copyright infringment by other humans or the golems that exist in our society.

Just something to think about…

Wow. Truman does have illustration again.

It’s been a LONG time since I visited Truman State University’s website. Looks like they have an illustration class again. For a long while they did not have one. Not sure when they got it going again, but it’s there…
http://concept.typepad.com/art219illustration/

Almost makes me want to head go back to school and take some more classes, lol.

Gameplan…

I know that I probably seem like an unorganized slob sometimes since my thoughts seem so scattered sometimes, and I post about such a wide variety of things… but all the pieces of the master plan will come together over time… Here’s the gameplan for this blog, as it stands now. Remember, game plans are just that – plans, and they can and do change over time, so some or all of the goals listed below can go up or down in priority over time, or change completely as new goals come along…

Current Primary goals for this blog:
– Get as many of my sketchbook drawings scanned and uploaded to Cafepress and linked to from here as I possibly can. Please bear with me… I know that some of this old stuff is rough looking, maybe even what some might classify as “ugly” and amateurish. That’s ok. The newer, fresher, better stuff will get uploaded eventually. I am uploading everything that I can so that I will see it online here in the blog and it’ll act as an incentive to do better work in the future. The old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words is very true in many ways. I believe that each image I’ve ever made in my entire life sort of has something to say about me, my technique, and my way of doing things… some of which the casual observer can see… some of which only I can know since I was there when the artwork was created, and know what was going on in my head at the time… what logic flow there is, why certain elements are as they are, etc. The same is true of photographs, and any artwork really. A picture is actually worth many, many, many more than a thousand words.

– Get as many of my paintings, and other artworks photographed and uploaded somewhere and linked to from this blog. Most of the stuff will probably go on Cafepress. Some of it might go elsewhere. For stuff that I really don’t ever want deleted in the coming decades, I might even upload some of it to the Internet Archives since I believe that place will probably be around a lot longer than most other places, including both wordpress and cafepress. It’s just a major hassle to get stuff in to there since the interface is slightly clunky and slow, etc.

Although distributing my work in this way is not the best or neatest way of doing things since Cafepress is sort of kitschy, some of this really old stuff is not all that great of a artistic quality, etc., it does get the stuff out here where people can and will look at it. That’s a very powerful motivator for me because it gets people actually seeing some stuff I’ve done, which is a LOT more than the stuff is doing sitting in the basement collecting dust in a sketchbook, deteriorating slowly year after year. Yesterday I was watching the news and there was a story on about this whole mess Google has gotten itself in by copying entire books before getting permission from each author of the books so that they could put it online. Google’s primary argument is that that makes the stuff accessible to the masses when otherwise it would just sit in the libraries untouched as it has for years, sometimes decades or centuries. That’s sort of the same sort of idea that I have going on with all of this. My artwork is a living, breathing thing, and I’m still a living artist, at least for the moment… so why not try to get as many people seeing my stuff as I can. There’s a whole huge world out here, full of many interesting people. Is artwork really artwork if it doesn’t have a viewer? My opinion is that it is, but it’s not nearly as good as artwork that gets viewed.

– Start creating new artwork in the future and continue to upload it on to the internet and link to it here. This part of the plan may take a little while since I still have the backlog of all the stuff I want to scan or shoot photos of to upload. Ultimately the goal is to make more new stuff the primary content on here… and still have the older stuff available here to view for historical purposes, etc. What form my new works will come in is largely undecided and will likely be a lot of various forms. One of many ideas that has been bouncing around in the back of my brain the last couple of years (and actually is part of the reason I started messing around with Cafe Press in the first place) is to start doing illustrations for the books on Project Gutenburg and re-publish the books in Cafepress along with new books that I create myself, etc. A sort of similar vein of though is to create 3d animated movies that use Public Domain or Open Source projects as the basis for where to start. Some folks in the Blender community have created entire full length movies with Blender that is all open source now. At least one guy that I know of has tried to do similar on his own with Lightwave a couple of years ago. This sort of stuff could never have been a one man show just a handful of years ago, but now things have progessed to a point where that is not really the case as much… More people can do more with fewer man hours than used to be possible, and things keep improving to make it easier with every new version of every piece of creative software that comes out…

I enjoy creating a wide variety of different types of art. I would not mind breaking in to Illustration industry, animation industry, or stock photograpy industry a little more than I have, or maybe even becoming a full time art critic, game designer, movie director, or something else creative somewhere down the road. I have a lot of hobbies and ideas. This blog is a bit of a soul searching thing as well as many other things. Some day I still might write a novel for Nanowrimo or some other sort of book.

Main Secondary Goals with this blog:
– Maybe do a post here and there about each of the various subjects that I find interesting and used to have blogs on… hobbies such as Entropia Universe, Role Playing, FTA Satellite, etc. With Entropia Universe, I was in email contact with some of the folks in FPC, and there was some discussion about having me create a World Book for them. HOwever, that idea is sort of nixed at the moment and has been replaced by my Entropia posts to this blog. I still may do something like that eventually, using some of the posts in here to help me along that path. However, there’s just too much work for one person to tackle with a project that huge, especially since it’d be a never ending battle as a lot of things change in Calypso and all of the Entropia Universe with every Version Update (VU).. so anything that got written would have to constantly be re-written as the rules of the universe and everything about it would be, is, and will be in constant flux… That’s just nature of the “Dynamic” system that is Entropia Universe is…

I still find it hard to believe that not too long ago I thought blogs were just for people who are mostly self absorbed (*Hopefully you don’t think that about me, lol), that I thought that facebook was just for teeny-bobbers, and that I thought that that I’d never get around to finally getting my artwork online after having so many false starts over the years (My first “website” was something I was starting my sophmore year in college but that was WAY back when the world was still on Windows 95 because 98 did not happen yet, and 100 mb was considered a lot of space, lol….

Interesting Reading – Making a light box… and/or using 1000 watt lights…

Here’s an interesting link I found with info on how to create a homemade light box.
http://www.pbase.com/wlhuber/light_box_light_tent

I’m not sure if I’ll do something like that or not. I need to get a setup to shoot some descent quality photos of my paintings to get them in to a digital format to have for my own portfolio as well as here on the blog. I do have a couple of pricey 1000 watt lights I bought from Orchelens a couple of years ago for doing this sort of thing, and never opened them yet… I got them because I read online somewhere that some people were using these sort of things to do sort of a photography studio lighting setup on the cheap by cutting the wires off of the front of those suckers. I think the 1k lights are mainly used by construction workers to light up places that they are building that does not have actual lighting installed in them yet, or maybe for farms for some reason since Orchelens main customers are farm folks…. etc.

I am honestly afraid of those things since I suspect they put off a heck of a lot of heat, and also they have this warning label that I didn’t notice at the time I bought them that says something about they having lead in it so it’s a health hazard!… I also have no idea if 1k lights would work too great for this sort of thing, or what sort of lifespan they have – or if you can even replace the lightbulbs in them?!?… Anyone have any ideas on this stuff? What’s your suggestions on how to get images of paintings in to a digital format via a camera? Normal indoor lighting, even with 100 watt light bulbs usually won’t do the trick.

I’m on a budget so can’t afford the expensive lights that real photo studios usually use… although that would be the best bet, obviously.

I’ve read a lot of places that suggest using real sunlight, but I find that sunlight blows things off the charts in light balance sometimes unless it’s positioned perfectly in balance with where the sun is… Also it’s a major pain in the butt to work outside doing this sort of thing because of wind, bugs that are attracted to bright stuff like drawing paper and brightly colored paintings, and then you also have to worry about clouds and rain… clouds can change your lighting almost instantly outdoors. The bug problem is also a problem if you ever create artwork outside. It’s a major pain to try to paint something outside, walk away from the canvas to get a glass of water or something and come back only to find a bug embedded in your paint.

Interesting Reading – A few Technical “Bibles”

I just wanted to throw these out here because they are amazing books that I use a lot and recommend a lot of other people to use too!

The Photoshop Bibleis THE book that you will want to get if you want to learn how to use Photoshop. I am sad to say that I’m still running Photoshop 5 LE, so I have not picked up a newer version Photoshop Bible that is for newer versions of Photoshop myself, but have read a few pages out of the newer versions in a bookstore now and then. It still appears to be the best source to go to for all things Photoshop. It covers just about every main function in the application and gives you a simple plain English explanation of why everything is there and what you should be using each function for and which Icons you should push on or quick keys to hit to get what you are trying to accomplish done quickly and competently.

The JavaScript Bible is THE book to have on Javascript. You CAN learn some of the basics from visiting websites such as Web Monkey, but when you really want to start digging deeper and understanding how to do things on a more complex level, this is the to go to book that you will be wanting to get. Just about every aspect of Javascript is covered and there’s coding example after coding example that will get you up and running quickly and give you a working understanding of how all the spokes in the wheel run together to get your website advanced to a new level of interactivity.

Beginning Game Programming with Flash is another great book to have for web design. Surely you have played a few flash games on occassion. They are all over the internet. This book teaches you from the ground up how to start building those sorts of games yourself. If you thought Javascript was fun, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The graphics and programming power behind Flash can let you create just about any sort of game that you want online if you have enough time to program and test your stuff out. There are definite limitations to what Flash can do, but many of those limits dissappear with every new version of flash that comes out, especially as more and more people are getting off of dialup and heading to dsl or other high speed internet carriers.

The Artist’s Handbook, or The Artist’s Handbook of Materials and Techniques: Fifth Edition, Revised and Updated (Reference)
is just about one of the best “Bibles” on traditional art methods.

Both of the books cover many of the same topics. Mayer’s is considered a little “better” by some since I think it is actually the older of the two.

They cover just about every technique that there is in the traditional arts, and gives some really neat in-depth information that you just won’t find many other places, especially in a single book. It’s actually pretty hard to believe how much information there is packed in this book…It tells you some of the little known facts about how to make pigments, what formulas to use to make your own gesso, explains in-depth information about various surfaces and how you should treat them and more importantly, why. It just has a lot of little key bits of information that are invaluable to anyone that really wants to create artwork.

Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists’ Writings (California Studies in the History of Art) is another great art related book. While this book is not really a Technical Bible per se, it is a bit like the more traditional Bible in that it goes directly to the source to get first hand accounts of what is going on in the minds of various artist in the contemporary art world. The book is filled with tons of interviews done with artists, diary entries created by artist, and a variety of publications created by artists and those that have an in depth understanding of artists. It gets to the heart of why contemporary art really exists, and has more in-depth, behind the information than you are likely to find ANYWHERE else all in one place.

Interesting Reading – Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

Dave’s Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness is a very good book. In post-stock market crash world we live in today, it’s reliance on using stocks as the main method of making money once you get financially stable is a bit questionable. However, all of the steps in the book to get to that point are sound, and simple enough that anyone can do them.

The main “baby steps” that need to be taken as the first steps to get financially stable that are listed in the book are:

1. Save $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund. The goal here is to get yourself to a place where you never use a credit card again, or have to take out a loan again in your life if possible. If you can get 1k in savings, and ONLY use it when you have a real emergency (car blows up, etc.), you can slowly get yourself off of relying on plastic and loans.

2. Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball. The idea with the snowball payments is to pay off the smallest debt (loan, credit card, etc.) that you have first, and pay minimum payments on everything else until that little debt is killed off. Then keep paying the same amount you would have to the little loan, and just apply the extra to the next biggest debt, and keep doing that so that you are basically doubling or tripling your payments over time as more things get paid off so that you minimize the amount of time it gets to get completely debt free to a few years instead of to a few decades.

3. Save up 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings. This step is important since it gives you a chance to really build up your savings account. The reason you do this now instead of earlier in step 1 is so that you could drop more cash in to the debt earlier before you do this so that you are not killing your savings interest rate with the interest rate of outgoing cash going in to paying off the stuff in step 2. Honestly, I think for most people, in todays unstable economy, it might be smarter to actually save up 1-2 years instead of only 6 months if possible, just so that you are safe. The unemployment rate is raising a lot more, a lot faster than it has in the past, and I personally know a few people that have been on unemployment (except for a few part time job seasonal monthly jobs) for a couple of years… so it’s a good idea to save!

4. Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement. I’m not sure I agree with Dave on this. I do agree it’s good to invest in something, but since IRAs are still one form of stocks, they can loose money if you the market goes down again… It might be better to invest in US savings bonds. They at least have a guaranteed interest rate that is backed by the Government. I’m pretty sure the government back out on paying bonds any time soon, even if our national debt grows every year at the rate it has for the last few years…

5. Save up College funding for children if you have kids, or alternatively, save up a little nest egg for yourself to get yourself ready to start up that home business you’ve always wanted to start, or to give you enough cash so that you are safe and can try to switch jobs and start doing what you really want to do if you don’t have kids. If you don’t want to do a business and don’t have kids, save up anyways. You never know what the future will bring. I think I read somewhere the other day that on average, a retirement home can eat up about one million dollars over the course of 2-5 years!

6. Pay off your house early. This one just makes sense. Get that mortgage gone so you can be completely debt free. However, don’t make it a priority over other debts unless the total payoff on it is lower than other debts because typically interest rates on houses are a heck of a lot lower than on credit cards and other unsecured debt. You also might put off paying minimum payments on your college loans right before paying off the house, depending on how many college loans you have and if you consolidated, etc. since college loans typically have a death clause and a low interest rate. (The death clause pays off the debt if you die so those you leave behind won’t be paying off your college loans forever after you are gone).

7. Build wealth and give! The ultimate goal is to be completely debt free, and never to rely on loans or credit cards again. Once you get to this point, you can start looking at a lot of different ways to invest and let your money grow itself for you. When you get to this point, and you are not living paycheck to paycheck, you can start looking in to giving money away to charities or people in need. Help them out. It’ll help you out spiritually, and probably mentally too. It’s nice to help people when you can. It’s just hard to get to a point in your life where you can do that without worrying about all the other debt… If you follow Dave’s baby steps, you can get to this point a lot sooner than you might think! ๐Ÿ™‚

My first photo on The 3d Studio

Here’s a link to my first image on The 3d Studio.
Asphalt photo on The 3d Studio
I am not sure if I’ll use them as much as Turbosquid for individual photos like this one though since the minimum markup for a product is 10.00 on stock photos. However, for packs of multiple images that might be an ok price.

Some of strangest compliments I’ve ever received…

Have you ever had someone say something extremely oddball to you, about you, that was meant to be a compliment, but could have possibly been taken as a slam? I’ve had that happen to me a few times. I love these little compliments because you remember them well and can look back on them, and sometimes say, yes, they were right, I am that way, or just look back and smile and laugh. Here’s some of the weirdest compliments I’ve ever received, which have a bit of truth to them…

Becca
(I can’t remember your last name Becca sorry – we attended TSU together. You had long black curly hair, a smile and laugh that is hard to forget, and a a neat little glimmer in your eye when it came to anything that interested you, and I think you were going in to art therapy after you graduated from TSU):
Jeff, when I watch you create your art, it is like you are an exotic farmer.

Chris (Gondee) Mast
(referring to an apartment bedroom that Tekla and I had converted in to a computer room many years ago) :
Gah! Jeff, it feels like I’m walking on to the set of a Star Trek movie when I walk in here.

=====================
I might make a post later about some of the weird remarks that I remember from various role playing games through the years, but am not sure if I want to do that or not, since some of it might not be suitable for younger members of this blog’s viewing audience…

I’ll also try to add more weird or oddball remarks about myself in this post over time as more of them come to me from the depths of my subconcious mind from many years ago, or as new ones come around in the future…

Ode to Daily Painful Pleasure…

ring ring… Ring – rwring.. wring… WRING.. RING WRING. RING RING… THUMP! THUMP! THUMP!

The pulsating sensations get loudear and louder. My temples are on fire. The sounds around me begin to echo… I begin to hear more things.. begin to see more things… “What was that?” I ask loudly to no one. I know I saw a dark patch of movement out of the corner of my eye. There it goes again, but this time it’s on the other side. I turn my head quickly to see the dark image haunting me. My neck is now hurting from the whiplash.

THUMP THUMP… RING RING!!!! RING GRING! THUMP THUD! gRIN GRING!!!

Heart is racing wildly! Head is now pounding harder. I feel tingly and yawn. The top of my forehead feels like it got run over by a Mack Truck.

I’m starting to get itchy now..

Scratch Scratch… can’t get rid of that itch… It’s moving from my forearm to the back of my neck… Now my ears are ringing even louder! Back is twitching with the painful throbbing. Knuckles are pounding more and more with every key hit… pulsations of pain and pleasure.

Stomach is gurgling more and more… Feels like very hollow inside…

Gurgle… gurgle… twurl…

RING-RING… THUD THUD! THUMP THUMP! gRING gRING! BA-BUMP! BUMP BUMP!

GAAA! CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!

Where the heck is that bandanna… got to get it on my forehead to stop the PAIN!

…—000—000—…—
Don’t drink coffee in the afternoon! Don’t drink it in the morning either!

CAFFIENE KILLS! It never heals.

Artfolio vs Portfolio

I plan to tag and categorize all future posts that I consider a part of my true art portfolio as “Portfolio” at some point in the future. This is different than the posts tagged or categorized as artfolio. Artfolio is reserved for all of my artworks posted in this blog, both unfinished and finished as well as works in progress, quick preliminary sketches, ideas, notes on technique, diary type art-related postings, etc. Portfolio tagged items are a subset of Artfolio tagged items which are more finished, and worthy of viewing. A lot of artists don’t like to show the unrefined, unfinished works to the public for a variety of reasons. I like doing this so that it’s easier to see techniques being used, discuss various methods of doing things, discuss the historical rationale behind symbols and patterns being utilized, etc. That’s why I created the artfolio tag and category. The portfolio tag and category is reserved for things that I would, and may actually put in my real world art portfolio. The Artfolio stuff is more of a hodge podge mix of everything I do that’s art related.

Fellow Artists – Columbia Art League

I consider all members of the Columbia Art League as “Fellow Artists” since they are all local folks. I am not currently a member of the Art League, but was a couple of years ago. I quit because the gallery was only open during hours I could not get to it, and because real world cash flow issues kept me from having a lot of free flowing cash to spend on art membership fees and art supplies over the last couple of years. Since my work schedule will be changing in 2010, I might look in to joining again. The Columbia Art League’s “Online Artist’s Village” is located at http://www.cal.missouri.org/village/index.html.

Exploring the wide world of blogging and updating…

I’m learning more and more every day about the wide world of the blogosphere. Up til a few days ago, I was manually doing a lot of updates in facebook and here, thinking of them as seperate worlds… The rumor that these here intraweb tubes all work together like magic is TRUE!

A few days back, I started using twitterfeed to update my facebook account with links to my blog. Within the last 24-48 hours I discovered http://hellotxt.com/ that does something similar but feeds a heck of a lot more than the 4 or so things that twitterfeed feeds… actually I learned about hellotxt from twitterfeed since twitter feed lets you use it to feed hellotxt… so now my blog is feeding twitterfeed… twitterfeed is feeding hellotxt… and hellotxt is feeding a bunch of other networks I never heard of, or heard of but never took part in before now. Amazing how these little social network things can connect you like crazy… It’s hard to believe that just a few months ago, I thought facebook was just for geeky kids fresh out of high school, lol… It’s gotten me connected with a lot of old high school and college buddies, almost all of my family members in different parts of the country, a lot of people that I play video games with, and a ton of other people… The world isn’t such a big place anymore!… I really wish all of this stuff existed about 10 years ago when I graduated from college – I’d probably be a hole different life if that happened. Of course, if that happened, I’d not have met my wonderful wife, and have the amazing life that I have now… so there’s no looking back… but…. Look out future. Here we come in this interconnected virtual world!

Fellow Artists

Items tagged with the tag Fellow Artists are going to be dedicated to some of my fellow artist friends and their websites. Here, I plan to link to websites, blogs, and other interesting online projects that some of my fellow art friends have created, run, or maintain. I’ll try to keep the list narrowed down to artists that I personally know, or have some affiliation with. A copy of these postings will also be added to the Fellow Artists Page in my blog.

Growing up… .stream of conciousness… fleeting thoughts…

growing up … train-of-consciousness running me down!..stream of conciousness… fleeting thoughts, racing through my mind.. dream like visions… life is flashing before my eyes as various realities that I have known come colliding together in kaleidoscope forms making a rainbow prism for myself to see… myself… who I am…

Watching sunsets on Aunt Jo Ann’s porch (the brilliance blinding and beutiful), ruts in dirt roads. Covered bridge. Cows crossing the stream..
lincoln logs,
He man, Spider man, GI Joe and Fonzy
etc.

Fond memories of my dad’s flannel jackets, my great granma’s bonnet, clubhouse/treehouse… space cadets, imagination running wild. I feel like I’m awakening from a dream as I type this and begin letting my brain reconnect with some old memories… neurons are all a chattering away … excitement like a Child awaitng opening presents on Christmas morning… Christmas, Ceder Tree, tinsels, icicles… taking the icicle from the coyote’s cave near grandpa’s farm…

mind is racing as I conciously do what I need to do, at work, and elsewhere… however, I am no automaton. My subconcious races thinking about many thing… both wonderous and mundane. Creativity is flowing through every neuron in my body as I feel a tingle. I know that I am alive. It is good to feel this level of happy exhileration again… to be in touch with who that I am…. knowing that I am… being who I am… I am.

I am reminded of an old meditation that several nun’s and other Catholic mentors that I have related to at various retreats throughout my life have taught me…
Be Still and Know that I am God… Be still and Know. Be still… Be…

zest for life after mourning… inspirations of Jon – He is alive and is proud to be alive… spirit quests… change is good although we don’t like it when and fight it tooth and nail… understanding… wisdom…

It is good to be alive.

====

I am…
I am that.

ALIVE AND WELL here. How are you today?

Jeff’s Art Folio

People say that it’s not good to show “everything” in your online art creation portfolio or “artfolio”. I’m of a different opinion. Although it is important to show things in a pleasing manner, taking display and presentation issues greatly in to consideration, etc., especially in a resume/full portfolio presentation website that is being used to try to get a job, find new clients, etc., it is also fun to show off every darn thing you can… let the viewer see your mindscape in it’s totality. Where have you been, where are you going… what does a work-in-progress look like. What techniques were used to get from point A to point B to point C to a finished work. Process and technique are sometimes just as important, if not more important than the actual finished work of fine art. Sometimes, especially with artwork that uses the dimension of time and space, temporal attributes of the work are part of the main essence of the piece. For that reason, among very many other reasons, I likely will upload some of my older works here someday soon, assuming I can get halfway descent scans or photos of the works.

I’ve tried to do this sort of thing before, many years ago, but never succeeded for a number of reasons – it was simply too time consuming, my digital camera at that time just did not have enough pixel depth to capture things, or my real 35 mm camera cost me too much to have tons of pictures developed that didn’t come out very well since lighting was poor. My hard drive kept crashing due to the unstable Operating System known as Window 98, or Window XP… CDs of my work got scratched due to improper handling as I moved from apartment to apartment on an almost biannual basis, etc… my never-ending quest for a cheap or free webhost provider always ended unsuccessfully – If I am going to do something like this I want it to be around for a while and not disappear the first time that someone forgets to pay an Internet Hosting bill or the first time that a free website provider goes under, as many of them have done in the past. Before blogs became popular, I was going to do this by creating my own website(s), hand coding things, etc. I studied Flash. I studied Javascript. I studied ASP. I studied PHP. I studied Dynamic HTML. I even studied ways to hand code VRML. I studied all that I could about web programming… I studied Photoshop… I studied Illustrator… I studied Quark… I tried to learn as much as I possibly could about doing websites so that I could create the greatest website ever known to exist on the face of the earth…That was an epic failure because of my lack of time and ability to cohesively get everything together, and/or find a webspace provider that offered enough free web space to consume all the stuff I wanted to put online… Nowadays, with this blog, which I hope to maintain for as long as I possibly can, and various free image hosts, I think it’s time to make this never-ending quest for Jeff’s online artfolio to come to a real conclusion right here and now!

Going foward in time from now, postings tagged as artfolio, painting, drawing, pastel, digital painting, oil, acrylic, color pencil, etc., will be postings of my artwork, and each will probably a little description or at least title for each work. All works considered to be a part of the artfolio will be tagged and categorized as artfolio so that you can get to them easily without reading a lot of other postings about other things that I post about.

I plan to upload a lot of art, and create more to upload in the future…. I’m also going to try to put most of it on cafepress products and link to them from the artfolio, just in case you see something you like and might want to buy on mug, poster, greeting card, or something else. I know that most of it will never get a sale that way, but you never know. I would have never thought that people would buy some of the photos that they have purchased over the years on turbosquid…

I also might try selling some of the original artwork at some point in time when the time is right… and there comes to be a need to sell some of the stuff. In today’s digital world, what exactly is an original work of art anyways?!?… there’s a philisophical question for ya.

Some of ther artfolio work is on ok quality of work. Some of it is near perfection. Some of it severely sucks as artwork, but might have some other interesting quality that makes it worth taking a look at by more people than are looking at it right now, at is sits in a closet or sketchbook somewhere collecting dust… There are some interesting transitions in my style over time, interesting themes I like to revisit over time, etc. This is all stuff that art historians typically study once an artist is dead… Why let them make guesses after I’m dead since I’m alive right here and now?!?… I’ve never understood why artists don’t try to show their ALL to the public. Reveal the inner workings of their minds. We, as creative people, have a lot to offer to the world. Without further ado, welcome to “Jeff’s online Artfolio!”

Feel free to comment on various postings. I love feedback, both positive and negative (although in most real world art classrooms, it’s typically peferred that if you have something negative to say that you offset it with something positive to say – Constructive Criticism is what I’m really looking for…). In the future I may create “Jeff’s online Portfolio” which will be a subset of the Artfolio that focuses only on the best works in a more “traditional” portfolio website type of format. Until then, enjoy the upcoming visual feast.

Fantasy Lands…

Wikipedia is bad for studying fantasy game worlds in mmorpgs since they have rules that keep that sort of thing from staying in posts there…. can’t verify blah, blah, blah… which is weird since they have entire sections on fantasy places in literature

like Oz…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_of_Oz

Land of Oz

Mavel Universe,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvel_universe

and even Heroes…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heroes_(TV_series)

etc.

I guess for now, folks in Entropia will just have to continue to use places like http://www.entropedia.info/ because the place that should describe all of these sorts of things in detail, wikipedia, refuses to do so. Gigantic bias against virtual game worlds there on wikipedia in my opinion, which is really too bad… How are places that real people visit with their avatar every day less real and needing to be in there than silly make believe places like the land of Oz?, especially since places in Entropia Universe are paid for with real world money?

Something that really frustrates me about all of this is that they apparently have different rules for different virtual worlds… since they apparently don’t mind listing locations inside of the virtual universe of Warcraft… even though it’s an MMROPG and is “less real” than Entropia since it’s based entirely on a virtual gold system instead of a PED system that has a real world monetary system as the PED is tied to the dollar in a 1:10 ratio.

Silence at last… will be missed… at work…

Silence at last… will be missed… at work… It’s been nice working half an hour after everyone else leaves, and their perpetual blah, blah, blah has left the room – there’s peace, silence, and beauty that can finally let me concentrate a little… but that might be changing soon since our schedules are probably changing early next year. Oh well, the tradeoff will be nice since it’ll be neat to get out of work earlier.

I-70

Every day that we go to work (Tekla and I carpool) we get the pleasure of down I-70, crossing the Missouri River Bridge near Roacheport, Missouri. When we started doing this a long time ago, I didn’t like it much since I-70 can be pretty dangerous sometimes. Vehicles moving that close together at 70 miles an hour is a little wiked at time, especially if there’s ever a wreck and you have to slam on your breaks very quickly before you smash in to something or someone in front of you… However, over time, I’ve grown to not mind it, and actually enjoy it.

It’s a beautiful drive even if the sun is right in our faces going to and from work some times of the year since it’s right on the horizon almost directly in front of us. I really like watching the clouds and landscape as we drive in this beautiful area. There’s a lot of little things we see daily on these trips – you know, little landmarks and things along the way, that sort of act like a sort of metaphysical reassurances that we are on the right path home, etc.

There’s a big hill you go down right before and after you get to the river… really it’s all a large valley that used to actually be under water many, many, many years ago before people started using dams and things. There’s always more weather in this hidden little gem of a valley that has lots of rich colors, and soil. Fog comes here many times when it’s no where else along the road because of the river. Lightning and rain storms come here more often than other areas along the road between our home and Columbia. It is a very natural location. There are many trees and signs of life here in bushes, wild flowers, and occassionally animals we see along the way… There is also a rail road that is just before the bluffs that travels under the highway. Going away from Rocheport on the other side of the river, up that hill near the train tracks seems a bit steeper than going the other direction. Semis have trouble with that hill sometimes – if you want to pass them, on that climb up to the corner is the best place since they will slow down as they go up the hill… but do it quickly – they will gain speed again once they come around the bend. The hill in this location seems a lot more spooky and a lot longer distance at night than it is in the day time. In the day time is is a neat place since you are staring in to the horizon’s beauty. At night, it’s dark and there’s sillohettes all over the place so it’s a little freaky somedays, especially on snowy days when speeds on the highway are low for everyone. Snowy days in the daytime are a little bad too since that heavy blanket of clouds hangs over this location near the river heavily with a dull, middle grey tone to all the colors that are normally brilliant in the shining sun here…

I love taking photos of clouds in this area since the sky is so wide and open so you can see many colors and shapes in the clouds that you will not see in the city because of power lines and building structures everywhere. However, pictures never do the place justice since they are only two dimensional renderings using cymk instead of real life 3d rgb backlighting on the biggest stage in the world – the great outdoors. Similarly, there’s another area without a lot of overhanging trees and things near the first exit of Boonville and near Midway, both of which are about equidistance from this River spot on I-70. Since it’s almost impossible to slow down and stop in the middle of the river, even though it is possible to stop in Rocheport – the view from there is not that great until you get to the bluffs themselves… by where the Winery is… which is a hassle to get to… I use the places near Midway and Boonville to pull over and take sky shots on occassion because there’s such huge expanses of uninturrupted sky there. It is nice to pull over in places like that and take a few snapshops of God’s great huge abstract paintings in the sky! ๐Ÿ™‚

Textures in cloud formations are always rich and ever changing. Many colors of the rainbow lives in these areas. Sometimes even rainbows themselves live here since the river creates neat misty clouds that are low to the ground occassionally.

A little closer to Columbia, there is a smaller river, more of a creek – actually it is a creek, that has a golf course next to it. The golf course floods out a lot, and it’s interesting to see the water formations on the little manmade hills out there on the green when that happens. There’s also a massive amount of power lines just across the highway from there that create a gentle, curvey black line that moves from pole to pole with nothing else around it… that shines in splendor on occassion as sunlight on the Western Horizon bounces off of it … creating an amazing Chiarascuro effect that I’ve tried to photograph before but have never captured. I have wanted to do a painting of it for a long while but have not got around to it yet…

Just a little closer to Columbia from there, just outside of the city limits really, there’s a side road that runs from Stadium Blvd to Dawn, where my Aunt and Uncle live. Going from Columbia heading West, there’s a very unique and interesting visually harmonous formation that I love that is created by this little hilly side road sitting next to the straight and wide black expanse of highway that is I-70. The overpass right there probably helps that effect become a little more apparent, as does the fact that the sun is usually on the horizon when we typically drive past there. That’s something else I’ve been contemplating about doing a painting of. I think part of it is just a love of that area itself – when I was a lot younger my cousin and I used to jog in that area, over the overpass, and swing back out past the junk yard hidden by the great wall that you can still see the beauty of the uglieness of the junkyard through, on around a vast expanse of trees, and over to the mall where you connect back to the other side of the road on the overpass at Stadium…. There is a lot of beauty everywhere if you open your eyes to it. That’s what I love about art. It helps me open my spiritual eyes to the beauty around me. My camera is my “light” version of a sketchbook – used to capture many textures, colors, and other things. Even the most mundane place can be brilliant if you look close enough! ๐Ÿ™‚

I might post some pictures of all of this stuff here in the blog sometime. I have taken multiple photos of various aspects of it all before, but never really put it all together in one piece and wrote about it like I am here. Maybe I’ll change that in the near future! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m glad that I’ve taken up blogging again, and am doing it in this weird way of putting all my thoughts on a lot of stuff in here… it’s sort of like keeping a diary or sketchbook back in the days when I did sketchbooks daily. There’s a lot of creativity I can feel brewing under the surface of my daily life. Maybe this blog can help me punch a hole in the bubble of cancerous negative false skin that’s keeping that radiance inside of me from shining to the world… ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ˜‰ No, I’m not on crack. I’m just glad to be alive and am glad that I’m able to percieve the world in a positive manner. Doom and Gloom hit me too hard sometimes. It’s good to get over that negative stuff that’s pulling me down and move on.

This little light of mine… I’m gonna let it shine… let it shine… let it shine… let it shine…

truth be told…

we hold these truths to be self evident – there is no one version of the truth. The truth is a multi-faceted jewel. In our limited perceptions of space and time, biased by our own unique psychological histories, we can only see one small bit of truth that we claim as our own. The problem is that when we see that, our truth, which is one small part of the gigantic diamond that is reality, we sometimes try to get others to see what we are seeing as the truth of reality, but in the mean time they cannot see that because they are having the same problem – you see they are standing in a different place than we are… seeing another part of the spectrum that makes up the many colors of the prism that is radiating from the crystal of the real truth. We need to be careful when we do this… argueing gets us no where… all it does is lead to war and strife. It is hard to remember this sometimes… but knowledge and wisdom is the path we should follow to live in this world in true peace and harmony like the peace the many religions of this world teach us but that few of those that put themselves under the banners of those religions actually try to embrace fully since they are still hiding behind the blinders that makes them only see one small sliver of the real truth that is reality, pretending thatit’s the only truth when in fact it is only one of many truths if they would just be truthful with themselves and open to honestly embrace the true world peace they claim to want. Be very careful to percieve your world, but also to open your eyes to the true reality that may be bigger than you thought it was in the past. People say that the origin of the phrase scapegoat comes from an old farmers ways of doing things in the olden days where he’d let a goat lead the lambs to the slaughter house… Be careful not to be led directly to your own distruction by old goats. Some teachers of the truth have a lot to offer, but just remember, sometimes, their truths may not be the entire truth, and sometimes you should open your eyes a bit so that you are not blinded completely when one small ray of sunshine is in your eyes, making you wake up from a dream, but it really is not a ray of sunshine – just an artificial 100 watt bulb that someone switched on. There’s a lot more to reality than we can know in totality in human lives. Don’t go to war to protect your truth when your truth may only be part of the truth… Do uphold your truth, but remember to always think about why you believe your truth is THE Truth. I am probably truly confusing myself now and you too with all this rambling… so I’ll quit now while I’m at least partly ahead.

A few healthcare tips…

As someone who works for a hospital, in a Department that works closely with insurance contract interpretion, I’ve seen a lot of behind the scenes sort of things that a lot of people don’t necessarily think about when thinking about their hospital and doctor bills – things that might be costing them a lot but that they are not aware of, costs both in healthcare being provided to them as well as monetary costs…

Here’s a few tips related to healthcare that you might want to keep in mind in the future when dealing with your insurance company, hospital, doctor, or any healthcare provider. I’ll probably post more tips in future postings as I think of new tidbits. I’ll try to keep this as specific as I can so that it’s useful information for the general public but as unspecific as I can so that I don’t get in trouble for HIPPA violations or get in trouble with my boss if anyone I work with ever stumbles across this in the future.

Reciepts…
Always ask for a receipt any time you pay a bill. Sometimes clerical errors can cause bills to continue to be sent to patients by a hospital after the bill is sent. Other times, it’s possible that the bills are being computer generated by a system that is automated, and it’s impossible to turn the system off if a bill comes in… In many cases, at some healthcare facilities, hospital bills DO get sent to patients after the bills are already paid, and in some cases, those bills will have a date on the top of them that indicates that they were produced AFTER the payment for the bill has already been paid by the patient. This usually happens because of the fact that many hospitals, doctor offices, and other healthcare providers outsource some or all of their billing, and/or rely on billing systems that are not able to always be 100% up-to-date. In some, rare cases, this could be considered fraud because the bills are being created after the claim in question is already paid, making it highly confusing to patients, who sometimes send in payments any time they receive a bill, resulting in overpayments.

Overpayments… and Small Dollar Writeoffs…

Many healthcare facilities, and some insurance companies as well, typically write off small dollar debits and credits below a certain amount. For instance some hospitals might write off debits and credits below a fifteen dollar amount, and some physician offices may write off debits or credits with values around five or ten dollars. The actual amount varies from place to place, and office to office. What is important to know about this is that this means that they are likely going to write off a certain amount of money up to a certain dollar amount if it is either OVER or underpaid. For underpayments, this can work to your benefit since it might mean that you are getting away with not paying your copay, etc.

However, As mentioned in the above paragraph on Receipts, that might mean that your overpayment on bills that you’ve already paid are being written off and you’ll never be refunded for the amount you overpaid on your bill if it’s an overpayment amount under the threshold that the facility in question is using to determine writeoffs. You would think that it would be unethical for healthcare facilities to keep your overpaid money, but they don’t think twice about it because they have deemed the amount below that threshold, whatever amount it’s set at, to be not worth their time since it’ll cost them more in paying their staff to refund you the money than the actual refund itself is worth. This can really add up over time, since some people may put off going to the doctor for many months, and then go and see several doctors in clinics in a hosptial all on one day – resulting in multiple bills for the same day…

For example… If a hospital has a 15.00 small dollar write off, and physicians at the same facility have a 5.00 writeoff policy that is similar… 15.00 overpayment could be being thrown away in a write off for one bill, and another 5 for the physician bill that’s for the same service… for a total write off of 20.00 overpayment for one clinics for one day… maybe one for diabetes, one for an eye exam, one for a follow up on something else, and a couple of others for various other problems… Lets imagine what could happen if you saw 5 clinics on the same day, and got an x-ray or mri too, both of which could result in additional bills… That could be 7 or more hospital clinic bills, and 7 or more physicial bills since the physicians and hospital send out different bills… You could have possibly overpaid 20×7 = $140.00 in total for just that one day… and never have a chance of getting it back since they consider it written off as a small dollar amount that they don’t want to mess with… Imagine how much money you could be loosing in something like this if you have ongoing problems such as chemo treatments, diabetes, or any other numerous health related issues that require ongoing visits?…

Make sure to ask what the small dollar write off policies at the facilities you deal with are. Also, be sure to always ask as many questions as you can think of related to your bill so that you know what is going on with your money.

Applying Overpayments…

Similar to the issues mentioned above, some facilities tend to move money around on various bills that a patient has where they see fit. In other words, if you overpay a bill one month, and you incur another bill the next month, some facilities will apply the payment up to the amount owed, move the overpayment and apply that overpayment amount to the next bill that still has a balance, resulting in a very messy accounting of where the money you paid was actually applied, and also making it very confusing to know if you have overpaid anything or still owe money on something. This typically happens if you pay a copay or coinsurnace payment to a healthcare provider at the time that the service was provided, and then later, after your insurance is billed, it’s discovered that the insurance paid your bill in full, and there was no actual balance you should have paid in the first place, or the insurance has left you with a copay, deductible, or coinsurance amount that is smaller than what you paid at the time of service. Make sure you know your benefits, and are kept updated with changes, and know exactly how much to pay when, if possible.

Discounts

Many healcare providers and insurance companies have negotiated contracts between one another so that the insurance company can pay a smaller amount than 100% of the charges billed by the healthcare facility, and the payment with that discount makes the payment considered to be “paid in full” by the healthcare facility. These managed care contracts can be very confusing, and often can be interpreted in a number of different ways by a number of different parties, depending on how the contracts themselves are worded. Many of these contracts also have new amendments, negotiations, etc made to them yearly, or on some sort of regular basis. Make sure to check all explanation of benefits that your insurance company sends you to make sure that you only paid the amount that you should have to the healcare provider. If you paid the amount that should have been discounted, request your money back.

Some facilities will work with uninsured people, or people that have out-of-network benefits at a particular facility that they go to (out of state provider that specializes in something that a place more local cannot handle, etc.). Similarly, some facilities are willing to negotiate with under-insured people, such as Amish communities, Church groups, people who have no health insurance that are willing to pay a certain percent of the bill immediately, etc. Make sure to ask as many questions as you can think of to both your insurance company and healthcare provider to make sure you are not overpaying on something that should have been discounted.

Medicare… and other Governement Programs can be very odd sometimes…

Did you know that Medicare pays a flat Diagnosis Related Grouper (DRG) rate on inpatient claims? They also pay something called an outlier in addition to that if the amount billed is high enough and falls in to certain conditions. What is very important to understand about this is that sometimes, the flat DRG payment rate is MORE than the amount that some healthcare providers charge. In other words, if a DRG rate is something like $1500.00, and the hospital is only charging $1200.00 for the bill, Medicare is paying the hospital $1500.00, and this is considered to be legal since Medicare paid the DRG rate. What is even more odd about this sort of thing is that even though the hospital is getting paid more than it’s billing, they can still legally hit you up for even more money in addition to this because you still legally owe your copay or deductible amount… In other words the hospital is getting paid more than it’s charging and you are still on the hook for more money than that. No wonder the folks in Washington are trying to reform Healthcare. Tricare (the insurance for our armed service men, and retirees) is set up very similar to Medicare. In addition some insurance companies use Medicare as a bases for establishing the amounts they pay… so in the past some commercial insurance companies have been known to pay hospitals more than the hospital charged for certain services, due to the fact that the insurance(s) in question were paying based on flat DRG rates, in contracts that did not have a “lesser of DRG Rate or total billed charges” clause in it – and patients still were getting billed copays in addition to this payment over the total billed charge amount… Ask as questions to both your insurance company and healthcare provider(s). Things can and are confusing sometimes…

Scanning money…

It is illegal for healthcare facilities, insurances, or anyone else to scan paper money at 100% of the original size of the money in question. Doing so is considered by the United States Government to be counterfitting. In the past, some healthcare providers have scanned dollar bills as proof of payment for some low dollar copays. If you ever see anyone scanning money, ask them why they are doing that, where they are saving it, and at what size they are saving it or printing it. Some newer software, such as Adobe Photoshop, will actually try to not save scanned money. It is legal to scan money, so long as certain rules are followed, so Adobe actually is going a few steps too far in completely stopping the scanning of money. http://www.ustreas.gov/usss/money_illustrations.shtml

more posts will likely come in the future about healthcare…

Old Blogs… and websites…

Just for reference and historical information, I’m going to list my old blogs, and possibly old websites here if they still exist. This right here that you are reading now is my real blog for today and going foward in time, but I’m going to link to my old blogs from here for my own reading and for yours too if you want. I am going to do that so that there’s a link back and forth between here and there so that you can see where my thought processes have been in the past, and I can too… since there’s a lot of themes and ideas that I come back to over time…

http://oldnewsstories.blogspot.com/ – the idea with this was to edit public domain news stories in the archive since the text that came from the scan was horrible…

http://midnightmoonrunner.blogspot.com/ – this was a highly cliche’ identity thingy for me a long time back…

http://paintstorm.blogspot.com/ – When I get creative I become like a storm… it starts slow, then speeds up and goes hyper with thousands of ideas crossing my mind silmultanously… but there’s a constant quite in the storm… sort of similar to the search for IT in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road

http://role-playing-onion.blogspot.com/– I used to role play a lot back in high school, college, and some after that too, at least in my mind and online…

http://poet-traits.blogspot.com/ – I envision poet-traits as more or less portraits created with poety describing the individual or quoted by the individual where the lines of the poetry are shaped with curves and splines and things to create the face of the individual. I used to do a lot of drawings like that back in college somewhat in sketch books… sketch books are probably best for it, or something like illustrator or inkspace… but sketchbooks are best because of the immediacy of the work and the fact that it’s easy to just keep turning the book and the drawing instrument..

http://satelliteman.blogspot.com/ – I’m in to FTA Satellite…. It’s a neat hobby.

http://entropia-delight.blogspot.com/ – this was my first Entropia Blog…

http://jeffthomannart.blogspot.com/ – This was my latest art blog…

http://haikumostdays.blogspot.com/ – I like writing haiku sometimes

http://mariasgoods.blogspot.com/ – this was another Entropia blog from the days when Maria did not own a shop yet and did street trading in Port Atlantis and Twin Peaks.

http://jeffthomannsart.blogspot.com/ – This was another take on an art blog…

http://obscuremissourilaws.blogspot.com/ – This never went far… but studying the laws, there is a lot of loopholes and plainly stupid things going on, not just in Missouri, but everywhere.

http://photogametry.blogspot.com/ – 3d math and the stuff behind 3d animation is fascinating.

http://harm-onica.blogspot.com/ – I have a harmonica but have not ever learned to use it yet. I was going to learn a while back since my wife and I carpool and worked different hours. I was going to try to practice the harmonica while waiting in the car for her, but never got too far with it because, as you can tell by reading this post, I’ve got a lot of hobbies, and so never found the time to master the harmonica (yet)

http://jeffsdoodles.blogspot.com/ – This was another art blog – based on quick little works…

http://spameaters.blogspot.com/ – I was going to try to copy spam, but decided not to go on with it after a few posts since lots of other websites are out there and it’s stupid to actually make that stuff popular.

http://three-d-news.blogspot.com/ – 3d industry is fascinating. I read 3d World, HDRI magazine, and a lot of other various publications sometimes… also visit lots of forums related to the industry.

http://publicdomainremix.blogspot.com/ – I love public domain stuff and editing it.

http://grababeat.blogspot.com/ – I was going to try to do some music since I own a midi keyboard and a voice recorder, but never got too far with it. I still like the idea of mixing things up like that.

http://720x480doodles.blogspot.com/ – I was going to do doodles that were 720×480 pixels… but never got far with it really… sort of a silly format to go with…

http://knowledgeyoucanuse.blogspot.com/ – this was a good idea blog, but I never did much with it. This blog will likely have good ideas mixed in with various posts as we move forward in time.

http://jeffthomann.blogspot.com/ – real original… lol… almost as good as jeffthomann.wordpress.com, ๐Ÿ˜‰

http://makesomemoneyrightnow.blogspot.com/ – My wife and I are in to online businesses. I was going to try to explain to people my experiences with all of that… I still probably will in this blog since this is my ONE blog moving foward…

http://5×7-doodles.blogspot.com/ 5×7 inch drawings and doodles… I love that format since it’s a size that can be used in postcards on cafepress, and is also a size that fits in 5×7 inch picture frames, and also can easily be shrunken down to artcard sizes.

http://archaicsymphony.blogspot.com/ – this was going to be a music and public domain remix blog, but someone else already was using that same basic name on a website, so I gave up on it quickly.

http://great-quotes.blogspot.com/ – I love reading quotes, especially from artist and other creative individuals. I may do a few quotes in this blog moving foward in time since this is the only blog I plan to keep moving forward…

http://publicdomainartbyjeff.blogspot.com/ – I love public domain works and was thinking about creating some of my own public domain works. I might still do this in the future.

http://hackinghealthcare.blogspot.com/ – I work for a University Hospital. I was going to use this blog with a false name since I may have revealed some basic info that some might see as trade secrets, or at least things that would make the organization I work for look not so great since there is a lot of little dirty secrets out there that most folks don’t necessarily know about in the public. I may still do a tidbit now and then but will be careful to word things so that I am not putting my job at risk… especially since this blog makes it very apparent who I am by the name on it…

Long List of 3d and 2d editing software

This space will is reserved for a list of 3d and 2d editing software that I’ll drop in here in the near future, and/or build over time. I don’t have time to list it all right now, but am putting this here as a sort of reminder to myself to come back here later and add more. There’s tons of great 3d and 2d freeware and shareware out there as well as higher end stuff. I’ve played around with quite a bit of it and will post my comments on each one I have some experience with here.

Blender – http://www.blender.org/
Gimp –http://www.gimp.org/
Wings 3d – http://www.wings3d.com/
Project Dogwaffle http://www.thebest3d.com/dogwaffle/free/index.html
cinepaint http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CinePaint

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_vector_graphics_editors

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_modeling_software

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_raster_graphics_editors

http://www.freedownloadscenter.com/Multimedia_and_Graphics/Graphics_Editors/Wood_Workshop.html

http://www.freedownloadscenter.com/Shell_and_Desktop/Wallpaper_Tools/flooring_contractors.html

http://wareseeker.com/free-popular-seamless-texture-generator

http://www.brothersoft.com/texture-generator-download-283505.html

http://software.informer.com/getfree-how-to-create-seamless-brick-texture/

http://www.bricksntiles.com/download/

http://www.3d-rekonstruktionen.de/de/download/

I’ll add more to this list over time… You might want to book markt it! ๐Ÿ™‚

=== note to self – http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?p=6717946#post6717946

Also add more like it.. other lists have been in various forums before.. but forums disappear over time. Blogs can too, but not as easily all the time.

Welcome to Jeff Thomann’s “official” new blog. (or JEFF’S ONE BLOG)

I’ve started a number of various blogs on blogspot.com in the past on a wide variety of topics, but never got many or any of them too far because I would start something, get on to another topic, abandon the blog, and not come back to it later.ย  I am sort of doing a “redo” here and starting over from scratch here on wordpress.ย  I’m doing this so that I have ONE blog and only ONE blog… I’ll post a link to this ONE blog from my multiple other blogs later so that they all eventually lead you here.ย  I like it over here a lot better than over there because here you can do tags and things a lot easier.

I’ll warn you now… I’m a bit of an eccentric individual with a lot of various hobbies, interests, and things, so will likely post about a lot of different things over time.ย  I’ll try to post Tags to each entry to make it easier to maneuver around the upcoming massive amount of posts about all sorts of things under the sun…ย  I’m in to drawing, painting, 3d animation, photoshop, sketching, video gaming, role playing, theater, the tech side of movie making and theater, art history, free-to-air satellite reception, internet tv, and a lot of other things.

A little about me… I’m a 30 something (possibly 40-60 something by the time you read this) year old, married man.ย  I live in the mid-west.ย  I have a BFA in Studio Art,with an emphasis in painting, and a minor in Theater.ย  I graduated from Truman State University in last century (December, 1999). I have the most amazing child who was recently born! We love her dearly.

I love oil painting, but don’t paint much these days due to lack of time and lack of a studio with a descent ventilation system.ย  Instead, I doodle with color pencils in my sketch books and panels in my spare time, or mess around with creating sketchy type things in Photoshop, MS Paint, 3d Blender Portable, Lightave 3d, or whatever other artsy tools I can get my hands on at the time.

When I graduated from college, I had a lot of interests in finding ways of combining my backgrounds of theater and art, and found myself studying 3d animation on my own.ย  Because of that, I got in to Newtek’s Lightwave 3d, which at the time was the only halfway descent priced 3d package on the market that could do some descent levels of animation.ย  I never got too far in to doing a lot of in-depth animation projects with that because I didn’t have time to create a lot of stuff, and also constantly found myself having hard drive failures, cds that got busted due to improper storage, and other hardware problems that erased everything.ย  I might get back in to it eventually.

I also like taking digital photographs of various objects and textures that I use for reference photos or to upload as reference photos for others on Turbosquid.ย  I like Turbosquid vs other places because it’s more forgiving to people that upload things without doing a lot of editing.ย  I like for photos that are reference shots to stay unedited so that there’s more of the direct just shot looks and feel to the photos, making it like an unblemished, raw material ready for an artist to pick it up and mold it in to something on their own.

I like playing and creating video games, but have not really done any real video game creation full scale yet.ย  However, I have several tools to do so if I venture in to that someday – Photoshop 5 LE, Torque Game Engine, 3d Rad, 3 Impact Game Engine, Lightwave 3d, Motion Builder, and a lot of various 3d and 2d packages that I’ve picked up for cheap or free on magazine cds over the years, or outright purchased.

I like poetry.ย  I would not mind writing a book or play someday.ย  I have tried to write for nanowrimo before, but never completed the book that year since it was the year we bought our house in the same month that I was trying to do that. (We don’t have that house any longer, but it was a nice accomplishment for me to obtain it, a wife, and dog all by age 30! ๐Ÿ™‚ )

I will post more later.ย  I’m out of time right now.ย  Thank’s for visiting.ย  Hope to see you here again.